3 Keys to Thriving in Ministry

Ministry is messy – even in the back-office. Most people think of stretching ministry experiences involving leading a small group or praying with people at the altar as the most challenging.   However, those of us who have worked in the back-office know that administration is not always smooth sailing either.

Administrators are often the ones chosen to deal with touchy issues like confronting a staff member about his work performance or calming a volunteer who doesn’t understand why she can’t work in a particular area of the ministry. As you serve faithfully, here are a few keys to help you handle the rough patches and continue thriving in ministry:

Key #1: Don’t be a lone ranger

Regardless of the situation, someone else has probably already dealt with it and may have offered wise counsel. Search online for blogs or articles to see if there’s a good resource available (ahem!). Find a mentor who’s been in ministry longer than you whom you can confide in and ask for advice. You don’t have to have all the answers or figure this all out on your own. Get help and seek out the wisdom of others.

Key 2: Jesus warned us about this and He sent help

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Jesus will never leave or forsake us and He sent the Holy Spirit to help. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Invest time in reading and studying the Bible. We know from Hebrews 4:12 that “…the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” You need that time each day to refuel and to discern situations through the filter of God’s Word. Also, make sure you sit in a service (not working) and soak up that time in worship and hearing Biblical preaching.

Key #3: We’re all a work-in-progress

Your pastor and colleagues may disappoint you on occasion. You’ve probably done likewise. Thankfully, God is patiently refining us as we submit our lives to Him. Don’t be surprised when there’s tension with fellow staff members or volunteers. You’re in ministry, but you’re still human! People make mistakes, forget important details, say unkind things, and more. Yes, we should constantly work to improve and become more like our Savior but we’re still likely to mess up along the way. Keep pursuing Christ, offer grace and forgiveness to others, and quickly repent when you’re in the wrong.

Ministry isn’t easy, but in those challenging moments take time to reflect on the fruit you are seeing. Lives transformed, marriages restored, and families serving those in need. Your work is important and you are making an impact. Keep serving faithfully and trust God with the increase.