Ministry is Tough, So is Life
Posted on June 18, 2021
This isn’t a confession nor a late-night rant. This is an exposure to what is it like being in the full-time Christian ministry – the labor in God’s vineyard. Perhaps, the word “labor” should terrify you more than to excite you to be in it. The word “labor” isn’t beautiful; it’s a language often associated with slavery or servanthood. You’re welcome. Now, time for some reality: –
Imagine life dealing with demands for attention and compassion.
Imagine the eyes looking at you on-and-off the pulpit.
Imagine the unrealistic commitment that you have to give.
Imagine the peanut wages that come into your bank account.
Imagine the need for stability in every aspect of you.
Imagine the judgment that comes to you for a little mistake.
Imagine the lack of trust from the victims of spiritual abuse.
Imagine the constant emotional battle to retain joy.
Imagine the need for deeper study of the Scripture.
Imagine the lack of gratitude that comes from people.
Imagine the demands in our job descriptions.
Imagine the lack of financial stability for sustainability.
Imagine the tensions between gaining money and growing your outreach.
Yes, that is ministry. It’s tough. It’s a hellhole on earth. You’re screwed in every corner. You’re treated like a dung by your friends and family. You’re a punk to the world. You’re a nobody to people. All eyes are on you to be the closest person to the throne of God like the pope and yet, when you fall, the devils arrive at your door to accuse you. You’re paid peanuts and your timeline is uncertain; you can’t stay permanent if you’re living in a city because someday, people will get tired of you and would lash you out. When that happens, you’re jobless and you’re going to have to scrap some means to survive.
Was it worth it? You decide.
However, let me point this out: Who is going to be there when a believer is going through some battle and is in need of God’s grace? Who is going to be there to show your non-believing friend/acquaintance the Gospel before they die? Who is going to be there to help your loved ones to grasp the truth found in the person of Christ? Can you sit back when the world is so cruel to humanity that the need to explicitly preach the Gospel is present? Also, can you sit back when spiritual abuses happen before your eyes? You can say that God has people but what if He calls you for any of those? The harvest is indeed plentiful but the workers are few. Yes, it’s flipping tough when your friends are doing well financially – owning houses, cars and stable permanent job that guarantees huge wages into their bank accounts.
I recall losing a non-Christian schoolmate to a car accident. Years before the incident, he was eager to understand the person of Jesus. I didn’t share the Gospel to him. When I found out about the accident, I grieved at his loss. Little did I know, when I suffered depression, that incident was part of the trigger. I could also recall the time where I was cancelled by churches for raising theological questions and boycotting the eldership for abusing the sheep. Who knew, as I reflect on them, I recognized my calling: I want people to see the Kingdom of God and I don’t want them to go through the hellhole that I went through. Since then, I dominated poetry scenes in this country with the Gospel. I openly provoke the church and call out issues via my podcast. I work with a bunch of crazy people who wouldn’t mind getting persecuted for the Gospel. I developed the eagerness to die as a martyr and I want my graveyard to be carved with two sentences, “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” (for the greater glory of God) and “Soli Deo Gloria” (glory to God) instead of some out of context Bible verses. I want people to dance while carrying my coffin or ashes instead of weeping.
Time flies, I suffered badly (but not bad enough) but I have joy in my heart. Yeah, you heard me right. Ministry is tough but guess what? You can’t escape hardship. You’re not always prepared. You’re not God and even if you pray for some words of knowledge, God doesn’t always show you what’s in the future. So, if ministry terrifies you, let this be your encouragement: Life is tough. What gives? Who cares? Be a man/woman and do the thing that God has called you to.
Just. Do. It.