Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 Things you May Not Know about People in Ministry

Ministers have lives beyond what we see on Sundays. As a pastor's wife and the daughter, sister, niece and cousin of pastors, I want to share 3 things you may not know about people in ministry:

People in ministry have issues. It was Zechariah's turn to minister unto The Lord. I can't imagine going in to do your work and being met by an angel with an amazing word of prophetic encouragement and joy. When Zechariah opens his mouth, what comes our are his issues. 
"And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” (Luke 1:18 ESV)
He pretty much told the angel: "your speech was really nice but have I told you about the issues my wife and I have? I doubt what you're saying Mr. angel." I can see Gabriel roll his eyes as he replies: "And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” (Luke 1:19, 20 ESV)
We shouldn't put people in ministry in pedestals because they all have issues. That's right. Starting with Adam, the only person in ministry who did not have issues was Jesus. Everyone else is dealing with something. It's wise to pray for people in ministry. Let's pray that they are taking their issues to The Lord and seeking Him for continual healing. 

People in ministry have a great need of rest. It has been said that you can't give what you don't have but many (if not most) in ministry are not remembering the Sabbath as they should. All people need rest and for a person in ministry it is easy to keep going without a break because of the nature of the job. God modeled rest. It first appears in Genesis 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." I love the Holy Scriptures because of the richness it brings to our understanding. Notice how God blesses and sanctifies our rest. I have learned through my mistakes that not getting enough rest can really damage my health. I pray that all people in ministry can find time to obey God and remember the Sabbath. Another thing that happens when people in ministry rest is the restoration of their souls. In order for the soul to be restored, it needs to undergo this amazing process of rest. To be very honest with you, it's difficult for a soul to be restored when the only thing it gets is 4 hours of sleep per night. God meant for all creation (people in ministry included) to be restored on a daily basis. Let's pray that people in ministry are allowing God to restore their soul through rest. I pray that one day people in ministry will be the greatest role models in society when it comes to exemplifying what resting should be all about.
Our family on Easter Sunday
People in ministry need time with their families. Your Plummer has business hours and so does your CPA. The person who installs your cable has business hours too but not so with people in ministry. It is the nature of this job to be on an ongoing, on-call, whenever you need it to happen. I understand that because God is always there and as His representatives, people in ministry are present for God's people. I can tell you too that this unpredictable schedule sometimes affects much needed family time. When we pray for people in ministry, let's pray that they will find balance between family and ministry. Let's pray that their family is their priority. Let's pray that their family is walking in love and making great memories together. Not all people in ministry are married so it is also good to pray that those who are single are surrounded by godly and encouraging friends and mentors. I believe that the digital age has extended office hours from 8-5 to 24/7. Many think, why call the church during office hours if I can simply inbox the minister? As a teacher of social media strategy I can give you strong opinions on how churches can use social media but instead, I will encourage you to think about how wen can all be respectful of our minister's time by taking full advantage of church office hours. 

I come from a family of ministers and as the wife of a worship pastor I pray for and support ministers. I do believe that our prayers are powerful and effective and when we pray that our ministers are seeking healing, rest and time with their families we will see a greater wave of refreshment in our churches and communities. 

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