Beginning a new ministry is so exciting! There are a flood of emotions and you dream of how many lives will be impacted through your program of Bible study. But eventually, those feelings wear off and it might seem more like “work” than ministry.
Are you tired and weary? Do you wonder if your ministry is making a difference or have you lost the passion and drive you once had when it began? Don’t worry. You’re normal! Overtime the excitement of something new fades away. It doesn’t always mean you throw in the towel. Sometimes, it just means you need a change. As a previous pastor of mine once said, “The barn needs a new coat of paint every once in a while.” Here are 5 signs that your ministry might need a facelift.
1. Low Attendance
We all dream of impacting hundreds of lives, maybe even thousands. But what happens when only 1 or 2 people show up? Low numbers aren’t always a bad thing. Remember, Jesus spent most his time and ministry with 12 men, and the argument can be made that he had 3 close disciples.
Sometimes low numbers, and even one-on-one discipleship is important. But if your ministry is designed to be a larger group setting, or if your numbers have increasingly dropped over the months or years – you might need to rethink your strategy.
2. It’s a Burden or Obligations for those who do Attend
You may have a steady group of people attending, but are they there because they want to be, or because they are your friends and feel the need to be? Yes, sometimes it’s good to be pushed and do things we don’t feel like doing. It’s like going to the gym. We may not always want to go, but we feel better afterwards and we know it’s good for us.
But if the people who come aren’t being filled spiritually or motivated to be a better person, then you might have to ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Are you doing the same thing because it’s what has always been done? Is the ministry more about you than them? These are tough questions to ask ourselves, but self assessment is good for all of us. (Although the honesty of it can be painful. We can either sulk about it, or make a change.)
3. The Ministry Aspect has Diminished or is Gone
It happens to the best of us. We begin a new ministry and we become very close to those who attend. After a while, we continue in order to see our friends and we forget to do things like pray beforehand or talk about God at all. The ‘ministry’ becomes more of a social club.
This isn’t always bad. It’s great to develop good relationships with close friends. Doing life together is what this is all about. But to an outsider looking in, your ‘ministry’ may seem more like a ‘clique.’ Be able to be honest with yourself and make the distinction.
4. Your Ministry is Your Master
Yes, ministry is good. But if you spend more time focusing on your ‘ministry’ than your family or other relationships in your life, it might be time to give it up, or back it off. Jesus never asks us to sacrifice our family. It may be tempting to allow your ‘ministry’ to become your master or your ‘god.’ But we must resist this temptation.
Yes, all ministry takes sacrifice. But if you’re at meetings 4 nights a week and missing your child’s soccer games – you might be sacrificing more than you need to. Time with the people you love is precious and something you can’t give back. My husband is a pastor. He schedules ‘family time’ on his calendar 4 times a week and blocks those hours or days off specifically to spend with me and our children.
5. Your Heart is Just Not in it
If you’ve found yourself in the position where your ministry is your burden, it might be time to revamp. Maybe you need a break, or maybe you just need to redefine your purpose. People are smart. If you don’t buy into what you’re saying, they won’t either.
God gives us the gift of ministry to participate in His plan for saving the world. He gives us each passions and desires. Pray and ask Him what He wants you do do. After all, isn’t all of this for Him anyway? He’ll guide you if you just ask.
One Final Note:
Don’t be discouraged if you think your ministry needs a facelift. This is an exciting opportunity. It’s permission to begin again or start something brand new.
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Questions? Comments? Contact Me or leave them in the comment section below! And as always, Live Life on Purpose.