27 Apr The most rewarding and challenging job I’ve ever had!
People often ask, “What is it like to work at the church?” I wish I had an articulate answer to that question. One that sounded well thought-out, humble, and wise, but in reality, I often struggle to come up with an answer at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working at the church and we have a great team. Not to mention that the congregation are wonderful, and our Elders are some of the godliest men I’ve ever met. However, the thing that makes it difficult to answer the question, “What’s it like to work at the church?” is that the job comes with such highs and lows. Yes, being surrounded by co-workers and congregants who are Christians is wonderful but sadly we are still impacted by the sin that is in and around us.
Ministry is one of those jobs that is almost impossible to describe. It comes with so much joy and yet in the next minute so much heartache and pain. Every day is different, and you never know what’s coming around the corner. I had one of those days last week and I want to share it with you. Sharing this day might help answer the question, “What’s it like to work at the church?”
The day started out pretty normal – up early for my quiet time with the Lord. Then onto a conference call with the staff, discussing congregational care and how to love and shepherd our people in the midst of a global lockdown. Then I headed into the office to record a devotional and water my plant :). There were a couple other staff there and we had a good conversation, discussing what’s going on and having an opportunity to catch up a little (all while maintaining our social distancing). Then it was home for a quick bite of lunch and to get ready for a leader’s conference call and marriage mentoring. All in all, a pretty normal day in church standards and I’m feeling pretty good.
Here’s where things get interesting. I had just finished lunch and my phone buzzed. It was an email from one of our Small Group leaders, who I know and love very much. They were letting me know one of them had just lost a sibling. My heart sank. My heart broke. I love this family deeply and I felt their pain and loss. I would have loved to have taken some time and prayed for them and mourned with them, but I couldn’t. I had a conference call in 2 minutes with our Small Group Coaches and I needed to get ready.
With my head still reeling with the news of the loss and trying to send a quick response back as the call was starting, one of our coaches says, “I’ve got great news!” Someone they’ve been pouring into, caring for, praying with, and disciplining just shared that one of their family members, who has been hostile to the Gospel for a long time, has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. All of heaven is rejoicing because a lost soul has been found and the family of God has received a new member! Praise God for His faithfulness!
Oh wait, I’m supposed to be mourning. Remember, a dear friend just lost a loved one.
But no, I need to be celebrating! A lost sinner has been saved!
Is it wrong to celebrate and mourn at the same time? Life can be so confusing, and ministry is no different.
I love this job and it is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I get to be part of what God is doing. I get to witness salvations, victories over sin, restoration of broken relationships, and the return of prodigals! However I also have to deal with broken relationships, marriages that dissolve, families torn apart, the destruction of sin, and even death. These things make this job the most challenging I’ve ever had.
It would be one thing if they came separately on different days at different times, but that’s just not reality; that’s just not how life works. I’m not sharing this so you’ll feel sorry for me, because the truth is there’s no place I’d rather be, and I fully believe this is where God wants me to be. It’s just hard to explain sometimes and that’s okay.
Now here comes the good news! No matter how my day goes or what happens from moment to moment, one thing never changes, and that’s the love and grace of Jesus. He is always the same and He is always here for me and you. It makes me cling to 2 Corinthians 12:9-12; “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” So no matter whether I’m weeping or rejoicing, I know where to turn and that He has me right where He wants me – desperately clinging to Him!
So, that’s a little of what it’s like to work at the church. I love you guys and can’t wait for us to be together again!