‘Ministry Weary’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Do you ever get weary with ‘ministry stuff’‘Ministry stuff’ can be exhausting.  Until someone experiences this first hand, it can sound like whining and complaining.  But I’d like to verify that ‘ministry stuff’ is draining.

‘Ministry stuff’ is energy draining because it taxes every piece of a person.  To do ministry in a way that fulfills the call, the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical are called upon for its completion.  ‘Ministry stuff’ is more than an 8 AM to 5 PM calling.  Ministry is always on the ‘called of God’s’ mind.  It never drifts out of focus.

I recall having a funeral for a child who had died of leukemia.  The funeral was at 11 AM on a Tuesday morning.  After greeting friends of the family at the graveside.  I went back to my car…and I had nothing left.  It was only 12:30 PM…but I was ‘spent’…I went home.  It was not the number of hours that was exhausting…it was the emotional, mental and spiritual expenditure of energy that led to physical exhaustion.

But it is not just the tragedies that exhaust the ‘called of God’.  It is the vision that is carried.  Long before God’s timing to communicate it to the congregation, the incubation is happening in the ‘called of God’s’ heart and mind.  It sleeps with the carrier.  It is found in most ‘unfocused’ minutes of most days.  It is always leaning into the strategy of helping the vision become reality.  It is found in ‘testing the spirit’ with the laity.  Collaboration is effort!  And effort expends energy.

‘Ministry stuff’ is wearisome because a day can change with one phone call, one visit, one email, one text.  Like a dog who is always on alert.  Letting down is difficult and feels dangerous because in only a second can that energy be required to amp back up.

This is why, for the ‘called of God’, Spiritual disciplines of prayer, study, reflection, fasting and accountability are critical.  I’ve often said “We don’t prepare for battle amidst the battle.  We must prepare before the battle.”  Without the disciplines of the soul, the soul will grow dry and unprepared.  The season of Lent is a perfect time to evaluate and, if needed, renew our disciplines.  Without them the ‘called of God’ become ineffective, bitter and troubled of soul.

My sisters and brothers who are ‘called of God’ take care lest you rely on your own energy, knowledge and wisdom…which are all are limited.  Renew your relationship with the Holy Spirit like a lover renews their relationship with their beloved.

Laity, you are ‘called of God’ too.  The same applies to you.  But you have one other task…make sure your spiritual leader(s) take(s) care of themselves.  Insist they attend to the matters of soul, mind, body and emotion.  If they don’t, they may find themselves lost…we need you to help us stay the course and when lost, we need you to help us find our way back home.

‘Ministry stuff’ may be wearisome but when properly equipped it is full of joy.  May it be so!

Always Thinking,


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