Feeling like…

If a good job offer came today I’d take it. Pack this ministry thing in, and become jaded and burnt out before my time.

This feeling is not helped by an incredibly fun PR consultancy role I picked up a couple of weeks ago promoting a major motorsport event in Townsville which is engaging, and exciting, and takes ten hours a month, and pays monstrously better than church work.

This is the reality of ministry though. Right? Sacrifice. 1 Peter 3 is my theme chapter for today. This is how to live, and why… and how I need to work at responding when people disagree with me, or find me disagreeable.

“8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. “

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

4 thoughts on “Feeling like…”

  1. Thank you for openly sharing how you feel, it’s really encouraging to know that I’m not the only one who struggles. Christians are sometimes like birds – dont show any signs of weakness or sickness, and then just die (in the christians case burn/burn out) without the help or support they could have had.

    1. Hi Bron,

      I promise never to be a bird. Especially if my making a noise helps others avoid some sort of stupidity. Sometimes trying to bring about change to a system motivates me almost as much as wanting to directly be teaching people about Jesus.

  2. Ministry is the perfect place for workaholics to destroy themselves. If you were able to work 23 hours a day I reckon most churches would allow you to do it and say nothing while you steadily disintegrated.

    When I was in college my pastor (one of the few people I have ever feared…) looked at me one afternoon & gave me this piece of advice: “Damien, don’t burn out”. I reckon I came close about 12 months ago. I found Acts 20:24 (Paul, to the Ephesian elders) helpful in terms of caring for myself in ministry:

    “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

  3. Hi Damien,

    My problem isn’t burnout – it’s to do with trying to work within a particular denominational system. This post should be read as part two of the post immediately proceeding it. Which had a deleted reference to my trials for license. There’s not a whole lot I can say about my frustrations because they’re still ongoing. But the process has been a little discouraging. Needlessly.

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