There are times in your life when you just want to give up, even on the things that you love most. You feel inadequate, ill-equipped, and lacking time to fix, repair, keep up with whatever you’re involved in. This happens often with things we don’t really love, such as part time jobs to make ends meet. But even the things we love the most: our dream jobs, our marriages, being a parent, and living day to day come to this point several times in our lives.
I just became a youth pastor a couple of months ago and I am just about at my wits end. I’m at a point where I question everyday if this is what I am suppose to be doing. I am struggling with the financial side of things and I’m probably driving our poor secretary crazy as a result of me not knowing the rules of submitting requests and receipts (I am WELL aware now and won’t make the same mistake again). I am horrid at fundraising and have people coming at me from all sides asking me “When are you going to do this? Is this going to be fixed? Are we going to start doing this thing? Can’t we do this? Can’t we buy this?” and my problem is I’M A PEOPLE PLEASER!! I want to answer every single one of these people with a YES, right away! But I CAN’T. I have come to the understanding, after trying to and discovering first hand, that I can not fix everything right away and at the same time. However, as I’m sure other leaders know, the people under you just can’t understand this because they just want THIS ONE THING fixed. They forget there are 20 odd other people with just one thing they want to do,fix, or start as well. None of them want to help with it, granted. They just want it to happen. They’re much too busy to help.
Wits end, people. Wits end.
I wake up and dread all the things I have piled on my desk that I and others want done because I am so short on people and financial resources. I want to do it all, and I can’t. And because I can’t, people doubt my ability. And when people doubt my ability, I doubt my ability. This happens in every area of our lives at some point. Do you know why?
We get focused on the processes, the things, the stuff and we forget about the purpose. We forget the “Why?” of what we are doing.
Is The Crave (My youth groups snack store) fully stocked with brand new delicious items? Nope. Is the paint still horrid red and black? Yep. Do we have a brand new sound system to replace the broken one? Nope. Are people in my ministry spending ministry money without telling me? Yep. Am I having to pour my own money into the youth group to make ends meet? Yep. Did I almost cause us to miss Youth Convention because of my lack of financial knowledge? Yep. Am I incredibly burdened by all of this and wanting to quit??? YES!!
I’m broke, I’m tired, I have to spend most of my time making food at a fast food establishment instead of investing myself in this, and I cry myself to sleep most nights because I feel like such failure. But you know what’s funny? When the church began in the new testament, they did just fine without sound systems. They probably didn’t paint the walls. There may not have been walls to paint. They didn’t provide the most popular snacks and drinks. They met together. They got to know one another. They supported one another. And, most importantly, they learned and taught the Word of God together.
I suck at finances. God has called me to speak His word. I suck at fundraising. God has called me to help teens. I suck at being assertive and holding others to the standard I hold myself. God has called me to do ministry.
Yes, I need to work on all these things, but the most important thing about a ministry is not the equipment, the decor, the media, the entertainment. It’s equipping people to live the Word of God. I can do that without everything else.
So for those of you that are wondering why I haven’t fixed everything or bought all the new things or increased the Verge account by crazy amounts, it’s because I am not super woman. I am doing my best. Yes, there are areas I need to improve in. Yes, I am learning. Yes, this is my first ministry job where it’s all on me. Please, be patient with me. If you’re good at finances and fundraising, offer me help instead of looking down your nose at me. If you have great idea, be ready to help implement them.
But most of all, I REFUSE to let these things cause me to hate what God has given me a love for. I love these teens, I love helping them, I love preaching to them, andI love speaking to them one on one.
Don’t let the difficulties in your life kill your dream. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and persevere. Remember your first love, and don’t let other people or things tear you down.
Maybe even write a frustrated blog about it……
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet,so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.