Poor attendance for an event that you’ve poured hours into. Feeling unappreciated. Being let down. Broken promises. Being overlooked. Feeling stuck. Not getting your budget increased. Not having a budget. Lack of volunteers. Lack of committed volunteers. Have you ever dealt with any of these scenarios in your ministry?
Earlier this week, I lamented about a recent disappointment. The truth is disappointment is a very human emotion, even for leaders. Even for ministry leaders. Please hear me: I am not saying that God isn’t present in the midst of our disappointments. And in no way am I talking about someone with a constant, complaining spirit. What I’m talking about is a real human emotion that all of us have felt at one time or another. Just because we are church leaders doesn’t mean that we don’t feel this very real emotion.
What ministry leaders need to realize is that it’s okay to feel disappointed. People fail us; we fail people. While we strive to offer the very best ministry that we can, we will experience shortcomings and unmet expectations. And that’s okay.
What we have to fight against is believing the lies from the enemy when we allow disappointment to linger. When we allow Satan’s lies to become truths in our heads, that is where the problems begin. He will have us believe that we’re worthless; that what we’re doing is pointless; that we’ll never attain the dreams that we have; that God can’t use us; that we’re really not good at what we do because if we were, we’d have “this” or be “that”.
My dear friend, I want you to know that the enemy (Satan) uses those moments for our detriment but God wants to use them for our benefit. The Bible says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My (Jesus’) purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” ( John 10:10)
If you are feeling discouraged today about things that aren’t going right in your ministry, talk to God about how you feel. Ask Him to help you rebuke the lies of the enemy and walk in the confidence that He has called you. Trust that He will equip you to do the work He has planned for you. The road won’t always be easy and won’t always be filled with high moments, but the highs as well as the lows help you to be the leader that God intends you to be.
Walk in confidence knowing that “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” (Philippians 1:6) And that’s a promise!
How do you deal with disappointments in ministry?