It can be exhausting to be involved in ministry today. When one is trying to preserve and proclaim truth in an anti-Christian world, one can find himself becoming weary in battle. I cringe when I hear someone question how difficult could it be to preach a sermon or teach a class that you have taught for years. When someone thinks these thoughts, he/she does not understand the spiritual warfare that takes place when these activities are occurring.
Everyone who has been involved in kingdom work for any length of time can tell you of seasons in their ministry when they experienced spiritual dryness. One friend recently told me that he found himself feeling like everyday he was walking through a hot, dry desert. What happens too often is that leaders put on a mask because they don’t want to show signs of weakness. After all, they are in ministry and they aren’t supposed to suffer from fatigue or dryness. They are God’s servants and they should always know the answers to everyone else’s questions but they are never to struggle with questions themselves.
It is when these conditions exist that Christian leaders are susceptible to a very dangerous slide taking place in their lives. If this slide is not detected and corrected quickly, it can end in disaster. We have all witnessed the hurt and heartache that comes when a spiritual leader falls into sin. It is important that we understand what some of the things are that can lead to this slide.
The first thing that can take place in our lives when ministry fatigue sets in is that we stop reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word. The reason why this is so dangerous and also so difficult to recognize is that we can be reading the Word in doing the work of ministry. However, we can find ourselves never reading God’s Word outside of what we are doing for our ministry work. One close friend recently wrote to me and told me that,
I was teaching the Bible and had developed courses about the Bible in my work. I became very comfortable teaching these courses. I was not reading Scripture at all except when teaching these courses. Slowly, everything became dry to me. It carried over into all areas of my life and I started compromising in areas I never thought possible.
Fortunately, this condition can be corrected when one becomes aware that they are not spending time in the Word. When one is not in the Word, that means that God is not speaking truth into his/her life. We must understand that God’s Word is profitable for four basic things that we need in our lives. Paul writes that not only is God’s Word inspired but it is profitable for:
- Doctrine – What is right.
- Reproof – What is wrong.
- Correction – How to get right.
- Instruction in righteousness – How to stay right.
David wrote about the need for Christians to meditate in the Word day and night. David would be the first person to tell us what can happen if one fails to do this . Joshua was told that if he did not let the Word depart from his life, he would have success. I could go on and on with instruction found in Scripture that tells us how important it is to be in the Word every day.
As you begin a new week of service to Christ, I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions.
- Are you experiencing any spiritual fatigue as you perform the ministry God has called you to?
- Are you going through a time of spiritual dryness?
- When was the last time you pulled aside from your busy ministry work to simply spend time with the Lord?
- Are you only in the Word when you are doing ministry work?
- Are you allowing God to daily speak truth into your life by reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word?
A pastor told his congregation recently that everyone wants to have God bless them. However, that means we must do what God wants. We won’t know what God wants unless we are in the Word. In order to be successful in ministry, we must follow Paul’s admonition to let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom. It will help you avoid this dangerous slide.