Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ministry desert

I've come to a place where all I feel is dry and worn out inside regarding my work for the church.

This is far different from being unhappy in my personal life, which is pretty good right now. And it is not the same as losing faith in God. I'm fine with Him, I still believe in the truth of the Gospel, and in fact I have grown in the depth of my understanding of what it means.

I also am not particularly angry with the church itself. I see its flaws quite clearly, but I continue to love it and its people dearly. I am no longer hoping to experience a dynamic, growing, "perfect" church where God's visibly on the move. That illusion died a long time ago. These days I settle for "not too dysfunctional, with its heart in the right place."

Where I am dry and worn out is in being a church leader. I seem to have made no lasting difference anywhere I've served. Try as I might, I haven't been able to prevent bad things from happening. People keep leaving the church I currently serve in disappointment, frustration or anger, and I don't have enough fingers to plug all the holes in the dike. I haven't healed people's wounds; I've been accused of causing them. Rather than contribute in my areas of giftedness, I've been caught in the management middle, worrying about finances, arbitrating staff relations, and trying to guide the pastor. All unsuccessfully. After almost two decades of service, it seems like everything I've tried to build or guide has come to naught, or worse.

So it is probably time to step away for a while. Not from the faith, but from trying to lead in the body of Christ, and possibly from the local church. I simply have nothing left to give. I'm completely dead inside; the spark is gone.

I wonder what God does with such as I, because what I am looking for right now is mercy and compassion. I hope that is what I receive.

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