Dear Pastor: Don’t Give Up

The life of a pastor is filled with many ups and downs. There are times of great joy and encouragement and there are times of great disappointment. Every Pastor has a story to tell of feeling so down on Monday morning that they feel like giving up. As a matter of fact, I experienced one of those moments recently. It was the Monday morning after a ‘low’ Sunday where people missed going to church for various reasons and some thought they had better things to do. You add that with hearing of negative comments and very little positive and encouraging words; it can certainly take its toll. By the time Monday morning rolled around I was having one those moments of despair, discouragement, and a feeling of just throwing in the towel. I knew that such a feeling was unwarranted, and it was simply yet another attack of Satan. However, it was real, and those moments for most every pastor seems to come far too often.
On Tuesday, I was at one of our Good News Clubs (an after-school Bible club in local public schools). A young lady that is a new member of our church was there as a volunteer worker in that ministry. We had a light conversation about her life and her experience and involvement in church over the years. At that moment, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “this is why you are here.” I began to think of all the new young families that have come into our church in the past year or two. I was able to count at least 12 new families that are a part of our church that was not here just a year or two ago. I also was reminded of the generational aspects of young families of today. Every generation views church involvement differently whether rightly or wrongly. The Holy Spirit also reminded me that we are a church in transition and that change takes time. At that moment I realized my stupidity to even think of giving up. The church where I pastor has more potential that I could ever realize. The possibilities are endless. Just 3 short years ago we had only two families in the church with children and one of those was my own. Now, we have over 20 children attending Bible Drills on Wednesday night, an average attendance of 18 in our Wednesday night youth ministry, and at least 12 new young families as part of our church. In addition to this we have seen the development of a new Child Evangelism Fellowship Chapter along with our church leading two Good News Clubs each week, one with over 60 in average attendance and one with over 40. We have seen 4 children come to know Christ as their Savior in just the past week or two. This is all for the Glory of God!
Are there times of discouragement? Yes. Do we have those ‘low’ Sunday’s where faithful church attendance is lacking? Yes. Are there those who unknowingly serve as a thorn in the flesh with regular negativity and complaints? Yes. Are there times when the burdens are so heavy that there is little sleep and even physical pain? Yes. But, when I see those young families. When I see those children. I know it is worth it all.
Dear Pastor, if you are reading this and you can relate all too well. Perhaps you are discouraged at this very moment. I encourage you, there is too much at stake to give up. Jesus is coming soon. Make the most of the time you have left. Don’t allow Satan to discourage you and convince you to give up. Stand strong. Be a leader. Be a prayer warrior. Preach the Word unapologetically. Open your eyes and see the potential and run the race well for the glory of God!

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