June 21, 2024

Do I stay in ministry because I feel called by God or do I feel trapped?

I thought it would be good to get back to the main goal of this blog and return to reflecting on the various statements and questions in the self-care inventory that I have posted in the blog. This is one of the important questions that everyone in ministry (in any capacity) should carefully consider. Many people feel trapped in their jobs. When related to finances, skill, education, age or emotion, its easy to get stuck. It’s ok to work in a job that is not your dream job. It seems that our culture wants to be coddled and pleased, but this is not what I am referring to. Ministry cannot simply function as a job in the traditional sense. While it may be a job for you (I write about this in my Preparing for Amazement Ministries Blog) it has to be different than a traditional job. Taking what would be seen as a traditional or normal view of a job to your ministry job is not healthy, helpful, Biblical and lacks integrity. It’s easy to get stuck in ministry though. Its not a job that transfers well or easily to other fields even though it requires so many important and transferable skills. Its easy to fell trapped in ministry and ministry has a tendency to start with excitement and end with burnout, frustration and pain. Many people leave the ministry after a short time. 

For these reasons and more this is an important and legitimate question that we must consider. If we are serving in any ministry capacity because we feel trapped, we are headed for great danger.  Staying in ministry because you feel trapped will strip all of the life out of your work and in many cases other areas of your life as well. It will impact your effectiveness and hinder those that you lead. We all need a job that helps support our families, but ministry is one occupation that you should not stay in if you are miserable. If money, location or stability were not an issue, would you really stay in ministry?

If the answer is no and continues to be a no over a long period of time, then its time for some careful prayer, reflection and discernment. The stakes for your ministry, your family and your own relationship with God are far too high to ignore.

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