I love ministry; I hate the temptations that accompany it. The temptation to believe our work is meaningless.
Ugly thoughts intrude at times, even though I’d rather pretend I don’t have them. But from what my coaching clients and others tell me, we all struggle at times with the temptation to believe that what we do somehow doesn’t matter — to anyone, to God…
The doubts and ingratitude show up, unwelcome, unannounced, clamoring for your attention…
NO ONE CARES about your Bible study.
Only two people show up to Bible study.
Several have dropped out to play bridge. One got the flu. One went on vacation and never returned.
Others want to try something new.
One has a new baby, and another has to work.
No one cares.
No matter that one drives an hour and a half to come to a grace-filled Bible study.
No matter that the two people who come so desperately hunger for good news and live undeniable stories of grace.
NO ONE CARES about your blog.
You write a blog. Three people read it. No one comments. No one cares.
You write another blog. Your mother reads it and comments. She has to care; she’s your mom.
You write another blog. Your friend reads it and tells you she loves it. She cares, but no one else does.
FOR THAT MATTER…
You don’t really matter. What you do doesn’t matter. Don’t do it. Why bother? No one appreciates you. You are way deeper than all those big-hair glossy-faced Bible study leaders.
Doubt. Self-contempt. Sense of meaninglessness. Self-pity. Envy.
On one such war-torn morning, I opened my Bible app on my IPad, desperately seeking wise words to speak into the barrage.
I entered the story where Paul is writing about suffering for the sake of the Colossians’, but the Spirit nailed my heart, my sin struggle broadside with…
For the sake of his body, that is the church,
OF WHICH I BECAME A MINISTER ACCORDING TO THE STEWARDSHIP FROM GOD THAT WAS GIVEN ME FOR YOU, TO MAKE THE WORD OF GOD FULLY KNOWN,
the mystery hidden for all ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. Col. 1:25-26
Boom. Take that, temptation.
Though Paul’s situation is specific to his story, the Word has implications for all of us:
You’ve been given a ministry. (Yes, even those who don’t teach, preach, or blog).
That ministry is a gift from God.
Your job is to “make the word of God fully known.” Nothing more, nothing less.
The rest is up to Him.
And in that whole mystery and reality, gratitude returns.
Dear Holy God, forgive us for believing the lie that no one cares.Thank you for the great gift of your Son, who gives meaning and purpose to what we do in this world. Thank you for letting us be your message. Thank you for letting us be part of your kingdom coming. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.