Life in ministry is sorta like a roller coaster…full of ups & downs. I don’t particularly like roller coasters, but I do enjoy life in ministry. Weird. I guess the up times cause me to rejoice in the wonderful things that God does in our lives while the down times make me cling more tightly to Him. (Roller coasters also draw me closer to God but in a whole different way…)
This week has been a roller coaster for us in ministry.
UP: Great friendships and community connections made during the 4th of July celebrations
DOWN: A church friend got her feelings hurt when I unintentionally left her out of Sunday plans…and she published her hurt on Facebook.
UP: My sister & bro-in-law came to visit from NC! I haven’t seen any of my NC family since Christmas, so I was excited for this visit!
DOWN: A church member got offended that my husband didn’t go to the hospital when their niece & nephew had their tonsils removed Friday morning.
UP: Sunday School class had a great discussion about building community and being devoted to God.
DOWN: Music minister insults my bro-in-law. (Shane, of course, didn’t care because that’s how he rolls…but it bothered me. 🙂 )
UP: Praise team & Special music is in sync, youth camp report is encouraging, sermon is a “bases-loaded-out-of-the-park-home-run” message, people are excited, God is moving!
DOWN: Someone leaves several notes in the church office written to the Jeff, the youth leader and the church council stating that the praise team needs to sing with more enthusiasm, the music needs “serious help”, and asking us to bring back the suggestion box. Naturally, these “suggestions” were contributed anonymously which is always very helpful. (Since the computer world has yet to invent a universally recognized “sarcastic font”, please don’t hesitate to add extreme sarcasm to the previous sentence…)
I must admit, yesterday afternoon I was very DOWN. Almost two years ago the “suggestion box” became a tool satan & his complainers used to completely tear down my husband and I and anyone else who attempted to do any type of ministry. We thought the issue had been addressed and the message communicated that “no anonymous complaints will be taken into consideration.” So, this new crop of complaints really was discouraging. It’s no coincidence, either, that the complaints landed on the desk the same week that people are starting to get excited about church again and when there are lots of good things happening in our church & community. Once my husband reminded me about the spiritual warfare side of things it was easier to let go of my hurt and frustration. I sing in the praise team and I know how hard we work to prepare for worship each Sunday. I also know that it would be easy to point fingers at the people in the crowd and “suggest” that they sing with more enthusiasm as well. But I’m making the conscious effort to let God, my husband & the church council handle all the complaints while I work on focusing on the positive things happening this week.
UP: World Changers will be here this week. We always have a great time serving these young people as they serve our community.
UP: I get to make a new friend today. A lady and her daughters have recently moved to our area and need someone to show them around. I get to spend the afternoon chatting and visiting playgrounds, the library & other free fun places…and do a little ministry, too!
UP: My Daddy’s birthday is today, and while I can’t be there with him, I do get to talk to him on the phone this afternoon. Plus, I got him a really cool present that he’s already received and I know he loves. 🙂
UP: God is still God. He is in control. I can trust Him. I am His favorite creation. He is with me. He sees me. He knows me. He loves me. When you look at it that way, nothing else matters!
What about you? Do you experience these ups & downs of ministry? How do you handle the roller coaster that is the life of a pastor’s family?