Are you wondering if your ministry is making any kind impact these days? Is what you’re doing making a difference? Are people being met and served well? If you find yourself wondering these same things, you’re not alone. Many ministry leaders are discouraged and doubting if anything is really working. In this episode, I share 5 things you can do when you doubt what you’re doing in ministry.
We are leading during a season where it is incredibly difficult to have a finger on the pulse of our congregations or ministry organizations. It’s hard! Many of us are on-line for some, if not all of our ministry related events and it’s difficult to see how people are interacting. If you’re preaching virtually, it’s a huge challenge. You don’t get to see people’s body language. Are people smiling or nodding their heads in agreement? Or have they nodded off to sleep?! You just don’t know. You can’t tell if they are engaged or if any of it seems to be making a difference. We contend with many of the same barriers during in-person gatherings too.
Some of us doubt what we’re doing because we struggle to get people to show up and take part, whether virtually or in person. Why are people not getting involved in the same things they did before? Maybe you’ve even tried something new but feel as though it is falling flat. Is it them? Is it you? Is it COVID? What’s going on?
These are great questions. We may find some answers but in all honesty, there are many things we just will never know...and when you don’t know, when you don’t have the answers and you get into this place of frustration, it is so easy to start questioning EVERYTHING and second guessing what you’re doing.
Don’t stay stuck in the cycle of doubt and discouragement. There are things you can do to get refocused and gain perspective.
Tell Him your frustrations and doubts. Be honest. He wants you to come to Him with everything. Pour out your heart to Him.
Why did you say yes to ministry? Why did you sign up for this? Reflect on the ways God has gifted you, His call on your life, and why you said yes to Him in the first place.
We may not see with our physical eyes, the work that God is doing behind the scenes, but He is working. Just because there hasn’t been a story told to you, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a story to tell. It’s being written as we speak.
Celebrate the little things. Give thanks for all the seeds that have been planted by God through you and your ministry. Praise Him for laughter that you hear. Thank Him for the opportunity when you can give someone encouragement. There are so many things we can celebrate. Look for all the gifts He is giving along the way.
It is so tempting to only value what we can see. I love the honesty of Isaiah. He said yes to God. He told God, send me...I’ll go...I’ll tell your people, I’ll do the work...I’ll spread your word. He pours his life and energy into answering God’s call of ministry. But he gets to a place where he is frustrated. He doesn’t see the point. He says...
“But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet, I will leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” Isaiah 49:4
It all seems to be for nothing. None of it seems to make a difference. But Isaiah chooses to leave it in God’s hands...leave it the hands of the King, the One who can level the mountains, the One who can speak and change the course of human history in one word. He trusts God with the outcome.
Leave it in God’s hands. When we do that, it helps alleviate the pressure we have put on ourselves and gives us the perspective.
What you’re doing matters. Your ministry matters. Your faithfulness matters. God will honor it. Your presence matters. You are making a difference. Even if you can’t see it. Even if it all looks like a hot mess...even if you feel like a hot mess. God loves to work in the midst of a hot mess! It’s the perfect place for Him to show up and do what only He can do!
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