Christian ministry is not always fun. There, I said it. You know it’s true. It’s not just what you’ve told me. I know it from personal experience.
Maybe this is something that we should talk about over lunch. It’s not that others don’t care. However, you shouldn’t be in the habit of telling everyone.
After all, you willingly answered the call to ministry. You took up your cross to follow Christ. Either His grace is sufficient, or it’s not.
To the uninitiated, it appears that you only work one day or maybe a day and a half each week. However, what is publicly seen by them is just the tip of the private iceberg.
Publicly complaining about that colossal iceberg under the surface is not a good idea. It’s probably best to leave what is unseen, unspoken about as well.
Let me give you three specific things that you should NOT complain about publicly. Pastor, let me preemptively clarify that these are provided in the spirit of iron sharpening iron. To improve, it’s sometimes necessary for a friend to tell us hard stuff.
1. Do not fail to take a regular day off and then complain about your fatigue from the pulpit. You and I are not so important that the church will come to an utter demise because we practiced the principles of the Sabbath.
If you are too busy to take a day off, then you need one even more. As well, you might need to repent of an overinflated view of your importance.
2. Do not make poor decisions with your money and then publicly bemoan your lack of funds. You and I are just as responsible for practicing the principles of stewardship as every other Christian we serve.
How you handle your finances becomes reflective of how others think you financially lead the church. Stick with the basics of living within your means, keeping your commitments, and give as generously as possible.
3. Do not dismiss adequate preparation for your sermons and then spend the first three minutes apologizing for it. You and I are accountable to God and His people to practice the principles of studiousness.
It is understandable that some weeks you’re more prayed up and studied up. But when you apologize for their lack from the pulpit you’ve started off amiss by evoking sympathy. You were not called to make others feel sorry for you. You were called to preach the Gospel and teach the whole counsel of God’s Word.
These three could have been filled with Scripture references. I presumed you already knew them. Thankfully, mentors taught me these things early on because they loved me. Sometimes though, I still need to be reminded to forsake the devil’s playground of self-pity.
I trust we can still be friends since I’ve shared my heart. I’ll just leave you with the words of Proverbs 27:5-6.
“Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”