by Jim Martin
How do you stay sane when there is so much craziness that surrounds ministry?
Craziness is everywhere! It seems to be a constant in this broken, unredeemed world. Everyone has to deal with the brokenness of the world. Sometimes others’ brokenness can be sharp and jagged, cutting bystanders like broken glass. The brokenness of others is not something from which you can stay detached only observing like a visitor at a zoo passing by a cage of wild animals.
There is no safe distance. The brokenness of others really does affect us. At times others may lash out in anger. Sometimes, people betray.
Far too often, others will treat you as if you don’t exist, as if you are without value. For a minister or other church leader, ministering to broken people can be exhausting, emotionally and spiritually.
Then there are the wounds that occur through the brokenness of others.
The betrayal by one of your friends who spoke despairingly of your motives toward a particular project.
The absence of any affirmation by those who have a front row seat to your ministry.
The silence of key leaders after you’ve poured out your heart in a Sunday morning message.
The anger unleashed at you during a meeting by someone you have spent hours with in their grief the year before.
Then of course, a Christian leader must also deal with his/her own brokenness.
You can’t believe how immature you’ve behaved at home this week.
You’ve allowed your anger at a previous group of elders in a different congregation to shape remarks you recently made to your present elders, a thousand miles away from the other congregation.
You have realized that your own self-pity, lust, and jealousy are finding plenty of room in your heart still.
Yes, the craziness of this world, along with your own brokenness, can make your ministry and life very difficult.
I have found it helpful to come before God in prayer and express that I need to let some things go. Recently, I had a nice list! Usually, in the early morning hours, I will pray with open hands asking God to take the craziness.
“Lord, I want to let go of my desire to fix this family and all the drama swirling around them. Only you can redeem this mess. I want to let go of my frustration toward this person. I want to let go of my resentments toward a certain person. I want to let go of the pressure I feel regarding a certain project, etc.”
Maybe one way to stay sane when so much craziness surrounds ministry is by releasing this to the father who desires to redeem everything that is unredeemed.