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Ministry is hard?

February 9, 2010

I semi- belong to the Assemblies of God. I say semi because I don’t have “credentials,” that would somehow validate me more as someone who has the gift of pastoring. (This is a whole other post)

But I mention the AG because this post is a story about the title of this post. When I went to the interview with the Assemblies of God I was young, maybe a little arrogant, and did not have all the answers that they wanted to hear. After talking for a while it was clear that I was not getting the credentials. Apparently I gave the wrong answer about speaking in tongues (again another post, another day…maybe.)

After that answer it was like a switch went off with the people in the room and they began to “humble” me. They told me I was young, inexperienced and proud. I wasn’t sure how they could know that after talking with me for 20 minutes, it usually takes people 9 months to a year to figure that out. ( I kid I kid, but seriously) They got very stern when they started to talk about “ministry” and then they uttered the phrase which lead me to write this…

“MINISTRY IS HARD” What? It has always bothered me when I think about this. People that are years older than me (I think the one dude was half dead I swear) seem to say this to me. These are the people who have gone before me, who are supposed to be encouraging me to do the ministry because remember they are half dead. I was amazed and angered at this statement.

Part 2 coming tomorrow… stay tuned.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2010 2:46 pm

    Ben, you know I love you and Abby, cause I do. And it’s because I love you that I’m going to say this: Shut up, Ben. Quick.

    I’m not saying your ideas, feelings and thoughts on this matter have no merit, but what I’m saying is that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things, and while you may feel the ‘rebel’ for having a blog and a forum to write this, this is the wrong way Ben.

    If you need to blow off steam in this matter, do it privately, THEN blog about it but with LOVE. Blog with love Ben. I saw a distinct lack of love in the posting above.

    If you honestly are seeing things clearly with the eyes of Jesus you will gently criticize – with love – not stomp all over them with contempt and derision.

    I know you are filled with the love of Jesus Ben, I see it in you every time we meet, even if it’s from across the room. Let that shine Ben.

    And I hope you take this in the way it was meant – in love.

  2. February 9, 2010 2:49 pm

    Sometimes I need to take my own advice and just shut up, but I need to say this one more thing:

    “Can you treat them the way you wish that they had treated you?”

    Cause that’s the harder thing to do.

  3. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 2:29 am

    CindyK I hear you. I am not embittered about the experiance as I will explain in part 2 coming tomorrow.

    Thanks for looking out for me. I appreciate it. If I was angry about it then I would have actually ripped them.

    I just try to write in a way that keeps peoples interest and part of me blogging is me practicing writing.

    Thanks for reading, we love you too!

  4. @nmuroki permalink
    February 10, 2010 5:41 am

    My predictions were right on btw….ha….I see where you are coming from but I think some people in ministry going through HARD times would challenge your idea that ministry isn’t hard. When Christ said we will be persecuted in his name I’m pretty sure he figured it wouldn’t be easy and that we would need his Holy Spirit to help us navigate through those HARD times. Also I’m reminded of Christ’s Ministry and how NOT easy it was. How at one point in the face of certain death, as he prayed for God to allow that cup to pass over him, actual beads of blood perspired through his skin. Now if you ask me that seems pretty HARD.

    Now where I will agree with you is the lens the most people tend to look through when ministry is HARD, tends to render them useless in their ministry. We know that Christ brings both joy and suffering(chandler) but it is what is birthed out of that, that Christ is really concerned with,is it a deeper sense of trust and dependence or is it bitterness and regret.

    I almost feel like Ministry as much as it is a joy, is sometimes meant to be HARD because out of that comes absolute submission and dependence on God in your ministry without it we would tend to lose some of that rawness that comes out of our trials.

    Maybe we are saying the same thing but coming from different sides or maybe it comes down to word choice. Instead of ministry is HARD we can say it’s DIFFICULT or we can throw in some christian swear words and say it SUCKS sometimes. I don’t know…. but you can definitely not be saying that ministry is EASY….could you?

  5. February 10, 2010 7:30 am

    Isn’t the church you work for part of the Assemblies of God?

  6. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 1:59 pm

    Grace the answer to that is yes. Why do you ask? Or was I suppose to get something that I missed?

  7. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 2:10 pm

    Nick you make some great points all with which I agree with. Check my 2nd post and I think it will clear somethings up for you bro.

  8. Cara permalink
    February 10, 2010 5:35 pm

    So, out of curiosity, I just read the first part, after having read the second part on your FB notes. I stick w/ what I said earlier. That ministry requires a sacrifice and your willingness to do it probably depends on the condition of your heart. Having said that, I think you know that my husband and I run the youth ministry at our church. It is something that has brought us great joy, but I’m not gonna lie, it’s not a cake walk. Every Wednesday and Friday night, I rush my own family out the door leaving dinner dishes on the table so I can get to my church on time and go put gas in the van out my own pocket and drive for an hour picking up kids whose parents won’t bring them to church, just to turn around and do it all over again at the end of the night. That’s a huge sacrifice financially and it’s time consuming and hard and thankless (from the youth’s parents anyways) But the van time is something I look forward to as one of my favorite parts about the whole night. Yeah, I get home late on Wed nights and sometimes after midnight on Fridays, and my husband and I drive separate cars to church on those nights so that at the end of the evening my kids don’t have to drive around dropping people off. Sometimes I have more fun with that van full of kids from 3 trailer parks and a high rise than I do the entire night though. It’s all worth it when I crawl into bed. But, really, it’s hard, and you arent’ gonna tell me it’s easy. It’s fun, but it’s not easy.

  9. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 6:03 pm

    Cara

    I am glad you do what you do. I am thrilled you enjoy it. When it seems hard, we need to get a change of perspective.

  10. February 11, 2010 4:12 am

    Haha no you didn’t miss it.

    I asked because if your church is affiliated with the AG fellowship, you are under their leadership and I would strongly encourage you to refrain from talking about your leaders (or, others in your fellowship if you would prefer to think of them that way) on your blog in an unflattering manner. Maybe you weren’t trying to cast them in a negative light, but my defenses shot up while I was reading because I’m affiliated with the AG. I actually disagreed with most of this post for many of the reasons already states in other comments (what a surprise that I don’t agree with you lol). Anyways, that’s just my 2 cents 🙂

  11. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:11 pm

    I understand what you area saying. I don’t really think it was that bad. I wasn’t trying to cast them in a negative light, if I hated the AG then I wouldn’t work for a AG church.

    I understand about your defenses coming up, I guess I would have thought you would have understood the post.

    I told the story to make the point, I think I made it.

    I value your opinion Grace and I really appreciate that you read my blog. Thanks!

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