Needing Hawaii: A Lament

Every Sabbath I preach three times & about every three weeks I teach Sabbath school…so those weeks I am teaching four times in one day. My members worry about me. They worry that I will burn-out, that this is too much for me in one day. Here is the truth, preaching is tiring both mentally and physically, but the recovery time is usually quick. In fact I think I could probably preach four or five times a Sabbath every week and be okay (don’t worry Christina there are no plans for this 🙂 ), without burning out as people seem so concerned about.

Preaching is tiring for a day maybe two…but the real potential for burn-out in ministry comes from the emotional side of things.

Watching people I love and feel called to shepherd struggle.

Struggle with sin

Struggle with health

Struggle with finances

Struggle in relationships

Emotions that come with the relationships you build in ministry that then break your heart.

The pain of being misunderstood, misrepresented.

The sorrow over wrong decisions that wound those we love and serve.

The secrets we know but cannot share.

The battles with personal ego.

The thorns in my flesh

Not giving it all to Jesus

Trying to do the work only Jesus can do

Seeing those that at one time said, “yes” to Jesus, now saying “no”

Sitting at the bedside of a dying member.

Needing to say no to the homeless man I’ve come to love & so desperately want to help, but I know will only buy drugs

Receiving complaints I don’t know how to fix

Convictions criticized

A team I love attacked by the devil

Sorrow over the lost

Desperately wanting to reach more people for Jesus

Seeing people that need Jesus & not knowing how to reach them

Feeling insufficient for the task

Knowing my own sins

Missing my family…

Feeling like you’re coming up short as a husband and Dad

One more late night meeting…

Isolation in the midst of a thousand eyes

Preaching is tough, but I don’t think preaching will ever burn-me-out!

Do you want to protect your pastors from burn-out? Pray for the emotions that accompany ministry.

I’m headed to Hawaii…I’m going to preach three times…Not a problem…Rest from the rest of it…

The toughest single week of ministry in my life!

…Oh how I’m needing Hawaii!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

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