Recently, I wrote a post here entitled, Stop Whining About Being a Pastor. It was my way of encouraging my pastor friends to focus on the blessings of ministry, rather than the burdens. Since I wrote that post I discovered something. Many people who came to my blog were using search terms like this: “want to quit being a pastor,” “tired of being a pastor,” or “give up being a pastor.” So, I want to write to those of you out there who might be thinking of giving up.
Let’s be honest. Ministry can be tough. Sometimes it seems that it can be the most glorious and the most difficult thing you can do. If you ever feel like giving up, I want you to think about three things.
1. Remember your calling. During difficult times, you should remember your calling. If God has called you to be a pastor then who are you to quit? You can’t stop something you didn’t start in the first place. Go back to that moment when God called you into ministry. Go back to that moment when He called you to your specific place of service. Remember your calling and draw strength and encouragement from that moment. He’s not finished with you yet!
2. Develop your character. God allows you to go through difficulties to develop your character. Could it be that the difficult place you’re in is simply one way for God to do an amazing work in your life? I remember a time in my ministry when I felt like God allowed me to face a difficult challenge. He used that time to grow my faith in Him and to strengthen my dependence upon Him. Your character is developed during difficult times. Don’t waste a desert experience. Allow God to grow you in the midst of difficulty.
3. Strengthen your courage. God uses problems to strengthen your courage. What gave David the courage to face Goliath? He had killed a bear and a lion before. He had seen God come through and he knew He would again. When you face difficulties and problems in ministry, allow them to strengthen your courage. Someone once said, “If I never had any problems I wouldn’t know that God could solve them.” When you see God show up in the midst of your difficulty it gives you the courage to face tough times again.
Be encouraged! What you do matters. You’ve been called to something eternally significant. Sometimes it’s tough when you face criticism and challenges come your way. Sometimes you wonder if you’re being effective – if you’re making a difference. Hey pastor, don’t give up. The fight is worth it. Don’t believe me? Believe the Bible – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”