I started in full time ministry 15 years ago. It was a really exciting time for me. I remember setting up my first office. The church I worked in was very small and couldn’t afford a decent desk for me so I refinished an old oak army desk a friend gave me. I loved the fact that I got paid to do what I love but I wasn’t prepared to face some of the difficulties that come along with the occupation. In fact, six people left the church in my first month there because they didn’t like me. Here are a few things I wish I would have been told. Maybe they’ll help you if your in the beginning phases of your ministry.
You’re going to fail. Not every idea you have is going to be a success. You’re going to fall on your butt. Get used to it.
Not everyone is going to like you. It’s true, you’re going to rub some people the wrong way. Some people won’t be able to stand looking at you. You’re working with people now and not every personality meshes well with every other personality.
You’re going to struggle with pride. I’m not sure what it is, but it only takes a little bit of momentum before many ministers are drinking their own cool aid and taking on a rock star attitude. Pride will be one of your worst enemies.
You’re going to make some big sacrifices. As hard as you try to protect your family, there will be seasons when you miss having dinner with them. If you have dreams of owning a big house and a boat, don’t count on it. You might as well get used to feeling lonely a lot too. Believe me, there will be times when you YEARN for a “normal life”.
Your ministry will have a profound impact on people. Testimonies are going to come out of the times you allowed God to pour you out and lives are going to change.
You’re going to develop some incredible relationships. As you work to develop your leadership team, you’ll become like family as you pray, plan, work, and bleed together.
You’ll experience God’s mercy as He humbles you time after time. You will learn that, without God’s help, your ministry is useless and it will draw you into a beautiful relationship with Him.
You will love what you do. Seriously, you’re going to have the time of your life! You’ll find that it charges you. Your passion will grow as you see lives changed. The fruit produced from your labor will be worth it!
What are some things you wish you would have been told when starting in ministry?