5 Ways to Handle Disappointment in Ministry

If you are in leadership or ministry long enough, you will have seasons and moments of disappointment. It might be someone you are counseling that simply walks away and doesn’t want your help. It might be someone who needs to be disciplined and instead of reconciliation, they simply keep on sinning. It might be a leader who decides they aren’t on board anymore and they simply leave. Some will create division or hurt in your life. Maybe someone is mean to your wife or kids. The list is endless.

What do you do in those moments? For many, these moments are when someone simply leaves for a new job. Explaining how God has called them to a church that will be easier, with less problems.

I don’t think that is the answer. Instead, here are 3 things you can do when you face disappointment in ministry.

  1. You’re still called. Remember that you are called to where God has you. The moments that are the hardest in life and in ministry are typically when God is trying to teach you something, your church, family or team. Is God trying to grow you in an area? Is there sin in your life, someone on your team that needs to be confessed? Often times, I push through disappointment simply by reminding myself, “I was here before them, I will be here after them and outlast them.” 
  2. Stay focused in your area. When leading is hard, everyone else seems to have an easier time. When a Sunday is mediocre for you, just go on Twitter and you will find 20 guys who just had a revival while you preached to the sleeping masses. Don’t look over the fence. Don’t brush up your resume. Don’t look up churches looking for a pastor. This isn’t the time. 
  3. Keep everyone focused. If you are a disappointed, it will eventually bleed into your team. You as a leader must keep them focuses on the vision and away from disappointment. Celebrate whatever you can think of.
  4. Don’t sin. When you are at a low point in life, sin is right around the corner. Whether it is jealousy, gossip or falling into an addiction. Keep your guard up, be aware. Don’t fail in the midst of disappointment.
  5. Take a break. When you are disappointed, it might be time for a vacation. You may be burning out, simply running out of things to give those around you and you need to get a better handle on life and ministry. Pulling back and taking a break is a great way to help get perspective and be able to continue in what God has called you to.

Question: How do you handle disappointment in ministry? Leave a comment. 

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