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Ministry is hard? p2

February 10, 2010
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*Let me say first before I explain my thought about this statement, that I do NOT have a problem with the AG or anyone in the AG. I just was telling a story, the idea was not to hurt someone’s feelings. So you don’t have to worry about that.*

Ministry is hard? Really? Many times I have heard this in my life. This statement when uttered makes my blood boil. And at times I have had to curb my tongue from spewing out rebuke to those who have said it to me.

I mean I understand what they mean. Yeah ministry can be stressful, at times it can me taxing on your spirit and emotions. But when I hear it there has always been something behind the statement. I have friends who have gone through hell in ministry. I myself have been through a number of stressful times. So yes, I know that ministry is stressful.

So here is the deal. Ministry is not hard when you see it the right way. If you realize that God is using you to spread His love and Gospel then ministry isn’t hard. Ministry is not hard when you work your butt off but always rely on God to do the work. When you begin to see that your efforts fail in comparison to what God does, then ministry isn’t  hard.

I think when that statement is uttered, we need to step back and look at the Gospel. Step back and look at history and see that God is always moving and will continue to move. He is sovereign, He rules, He reigns, He conquers, and SAVES. When you see God this way, how could you say that ministry is hard?

Hope this made sense guys! Let me know your thoughts!

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 3:18 am

    “He is sovereign, He rules, He reigns, He conquers, and SAVES”

    bro, I know what you mean… I believe if we keep these things you mentioned above and couple it with “He is Love and Grace” we have a winner.

    If these things are first our prospective about ministry and life is refocused. Ministry has it’s pressures, hard/rough times — but it’s not about the problem… It’s about our response to it. Look at Job and Jesus’ temptation, death, and response to the hard times..

  2. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 3:48 am

    Nice Cory. Thanks for your input. I agree.

  3. Laura permalink
    February 10, 2010 5:28 am

    Ok Ben…I can see how “hard” could be a word that you wouldn’t want to use with “ministry”. But sometimes there can be no other word to fill in there. How can I say that without making your blood boil? I sat and thought about your post, then I did a little research. Dictionary.com and I are good friends, so I went there and looked up the word hard:

    –adjective
    1. not soft; solid and firm to the touch; unyielding to pressure and impenetrable or almost impenetrable.
    2. firmly formed; tight: a hard knot.
    3. difficult to do or accomplish; fatiguing; troublesome: a hard task.
    4. difficult or troublesome with respect to an action, situation, person, etc.: hard to please; a hard time.
    5. difficult to deal with, manage, control, overcome, or understand: a hard problem.
    6. involving a great deal of effort, energy, or persistence: hard labor; hard study.
    7. performing or carrying on work with great effort, energy, or persistence: a hard worker.
    8. vigorous or violent in force; severe: a hard rain; a hard fall.
    9. bad; unendurable; unbearable: hard luck.
    10. oppressive; harsh; rough: hard treatment.
    11. austere; severe: a hard winter; the hard times of the Great Depression.
    12. harsh or severe in dealing with others: a hard master.
    13. difficult to explain away; undeniable: hard facts.
    14. that can be verified; factual, as distinguished from speculation or hearsay: hard information.

    (that’s just 14 out of 41 adj…)

    Check out number six. That one would work. Persistance fits with Minisrty. And how about number seven? I think that one would work too. I don’t know anyone who works harder than someone who believes in their work 100%. Thirteen and Fourteen work as well. Hard fact = The Bible. Can be verified = look it up in the Bible…

    Ok, so, no, I am not posting this as a door for anger or argument, just as a tool to see this statement in a more positive light. Ministry CAN BE hard, if you are using the word ‘hard’ with one of those definitions.

    (I am going to feel like an idiot if I read your post in a different context too…maybe you meant something else by it. I would like feedback ) (-:

  4. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 2:05 pm

    Laura first thanks for reading, I am glad you are doing that. 2nd I appreciate the comments. I see your point and I said that I agree with it. Here is the quote :

    “I mean I understand what they mean. Yeah ministry can be stressful, at times it can me taxing on your spirit and emotions. But when I hear it there has always been something behind the statement. I have friends who have gone through hell in ministry. I myself have been through a number of stressful times. So yes, I know that ministry is stressful.”

    So to say ministry is hard is true, but it becomes easy when we see God in a different light. There are lots and lots of pastors out there who strive and depend on their own works. They live lives full of ups and downs because their works go well sometimes and sometimes they fail.

    We have to remember to work hard, do our best and while doing those things, remember that God does the work anyway.

    God the father is the only one who can save, I can’t. So why would ministry be hard for me? I hope this clears a few things up. Maybe read the post again, or go back and read the comments from post 1?

    Thanks, talk to you soon.

  5. February 10, 2010 3:59 pm

    I can see this, and as well I get a little tingle in my spine when I hear these words.
    But to be honest they are true words.
    What makes them difficult to hear is the people who udder them.
    Maybe you are like me, but when I hear someone say this it is usually an excuse or someone using it to mask something. So the problem for me is not with the statement being true or false it is the person that is saying it.

    The thing is, ministry is hard. Mainly because humans are apart of ministry which leads to letting human nature/sin nature to lead sometimes. The amazing thing is that ministry is hard and we screw it up continually but God still uses us to do His work.

    it is hard but it is ministry and it is by the grace of God that we can be apart of this ministry.

  6. February 10, 2010 4:06 pm

    the ministry is hard is a layered statement. Challenge may be a better word. The challenge is whether you are brave to follow the Holy Spirit…vs what you want to do…when there is balance it’s a beautiful thing. People make the ministry hard. ’nuff said. God makes it a challenge…but the call is rising to that challenge. Grace Peace.

  7. deana permalink
    February 10, 2010 4:24 pm

    human=sinful nature
    human=spirit & flesh continually at war
    human=emotional
    human=take every thought captive & submit it to Christ
    human=beat body to make it my slave
    human=etc.

    working with humans [read: ministry]=hard

    in the world, yet not OF it=hard

    eternal life possible=press on

  8. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 10, 2010 5:23 pm

    Al, Deana, thanks for joining.

    I hear ya about working with humans is hard, but does that mean we have to get down about it?

  9. Corey Gibson permalink
    February 10, 2010 7:03 pm

    Some good convo…

    What I think Ben is saying (correct me if I’m wrong) is that we know ministry is “hard”… But what’s our response to it. Ministry is not “hard” when we look at it the way Jesus did.

    We can learn a lot from Jesus in the garden of gethsemane — his ministry was as hard as it comes; but his response (oh how beautiful it was), ‘not my will but your will be done’… Christ made up on his mind that the beauty of the Father plan outweighs the hardship of this life.

    Even Stephen (the martyr) responded to hardship and ultimate death — ‘Lord Jesus, received my spirit.. Please do not charge them for this sin’ (Act 7:58-60)

    “Ministry is hard…” Isn’t that what Paul was begging God for in Phil. 3:9-12 — just saying

    it’s all in our response… Throughout the Bible God deals with people response or actions to a situation.

  10. Bryan Pugner permalink
    February 10, 2010 7:29 pm

    Ministry is hard! Many lay pastors/leaders work full-time jobs and then go serve the needy, homeless, and those pressed under injustice. Lay leaders train our children, reach out to the lost, and love the unlovable. Pastors in the states make big sacrifices to their family, passing up the possibilities of greater income, lack of health insurance, and future security. Missionaries around the world sacrifice being away from family, live in tough conditions, and miss out on the fat American dream. Others still give their lives. Peter was crucified upside down. John lost his head. Paul was in prison, shipwrecked and beaten then cost him his head. Jesus gave everything for ministry.

    Ministry is hard! People question your actions, your heart, and your motives. They say hurtful things towards your best efforts, your failures, your successes and even your family. In ministry, the enemy challenges and attacks your weaknesses, insecurities, self doubts, inadequacies, and personal past. There is an emotional, physical, and financial sacrifice to ministry.

    Ministry is hard – it is a spiritual war for the souls of men. There is nothing easy about it – if there were then the entire world would be saved. It is a battle of heaven and hell. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it” (Matt 11). It is hard work! … See More
    Ministry is hard! And even with that said, ministry is our greatest joy and calling. It is an honor to be used by God – to see Him doing something great in you. It is an amazing privilege to be part of something eternal and to be able to partner with the Most High God. This is all true – but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost something even though the rewards will be great.

    Ministry is hard! Let me remind you of “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” or “take up your cross and follow me” or “Forsake your mother and brothers”. This all sounds hard to me.

    When I step back to look at history, I see great men of God (even maybe the “dude” who was half dead) who paid the hard price to obey God. Before Christianity and the Assemblies of God were mainstream, before pastors were making a decent living and before missionaries received health care and retirement – these individuals paid a hard price to serve God. Sure a lot of these individuals are now left with bitter scars, tough callings, difficult churches, and mean people. Maybe they are discouraged by a lack of ideas, ministry effectiveness, or the challenges of young inexperienced proud men?

    Maybe, just maybe, those who are older who state a warning concerning the challenges of ministry do it out of love and concern because they have seen the wreckages from their own personal disillusionment of ministry. Maybe God still uses men of leadership and authority to challenge one’s call, determination, readiness, and weakness. So rather than wanting to spew out a rebuke maybe we should hear someone’s heart, receive good council, or pray for someone who has laid it down hard in ministry!

  11. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 11, 2010 3:25 am

    Bryan I am glad to know how you feel.

    Just out of curiousity, do you even begin to understand the point I am making?

    It might just be semantics. I don’t know.

    I think though if I read another exclamation point in your comment I might puke. You sound worked up, hope everything is ok. haha just messing with you bro.

    Hope all is well down in the OC, thanks for reading. I didn’t think you did.

    Peace.

  12. Bryan Pugner permalink
    February 11, 2010 12:55 pm

    Thanks for a reply…

  13. February 11, 2010 3:47 pm

    *WHEW* So glad to have read post 2. 🙂 I’m relaxing now.

    Anyway I agree, ministry is hard. So is life in general. Deana’s precise summary is spot on! Being a human being is hard. Being a human being without Jesus is nearly impossible. I know, I tried for about 46 years.

    Life with Jesus is SO MUCH BETTER. And easier. Because I don’t have to depend on my own strength – of which I have none. 🙂

    I see your point Ben, and it’s a good one. Being in Ministry is a privilege. Everything about this world is hard.

    And Ben – you get me EVERY TIME when you try to incite a virtual riot with your sensational posts. *wink* I’m easily manipulated even when I know you love to do that! Yeesh. *hee hee*

  14. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:13 pm

    Bryan you should comment more. It let’s me know you are out there in cyber space.

  15. Bryan Pugner permalink
    February 12, 2010 12:47 am

    I would be more apt to comment if you responded to the merit of my thoughts rather than puking over the style of my writing.

  16. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 12, 2010 4:05 am

    haha ok I promise no puking, I was 100% joking with you. I do value your thoughts and opinions.

    Talk to you soon.

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