Leading a church with volunteer and part-time staff has its challenges. (It’s honestly the hardest but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.) These people amaze me. They have full-time jobs elsewhere, spouses, kids, involved in the community, then their role at the church. It’s the ‘new’ economy of church staffing which isn’t all bad.
But the drain and cost on the souls of these people are at times ridiculously high.
There is no such thing as part-time spiritual warfare or part-time spiritual exhaustion. We aren’t spiritual part-time. The spiritual investment into the lives of other people – it can be quite draining at times.
And yes it’s worth it – sometimes. And yes – there are cool, awesome God-stories happening. Yes. Yes. Yes.
But Jesus wasn’t always sunshine and smiles either. He hid, he ran away to get alone with the Father – constantly. Why? Because even though it was worth it – it was still hard. And exhausting.
At times it FEELS like it isn’t worth it. It FEELS like your never going to smile or laugh or be happy again. Is that wrong to feel that way? How in the world does a person get to that point?
I’ll tell you how – you actually care for people.
I’m a generally positive guy. I annoy a few of the staff with this quality. But there is no getting around the pain when a friend tells you the cancer is back. Or a child has leukemia. Or a mom or dad or loved one is dead. You cry with them. You plead to God with them.
When they lose a battle to sin – you feel the loss and guilt with them. When a job is lost, a child rebels, a mate leaves, a wound is opened – you ache with them. You lose sleep with them.
There is no way around this if you are going to really minister to people. You are going to get hurt and exhausted. And when you see it happening to your staff – you punt the agenda. You rally them around the Scripture and you pray like crazy. You don’t push the calendar or the to do list. You don’t critique – you just pray. Pray for recharging, reconnection.
You read the Psalms. Pray the Psalms. Confess your inadequateness to solve anything. You let the Spirit fill the room – not words. And you create space for Him to do His thing.