There are rough patches in ministry that you need to persevere through. Ministry is not always fun and enjoyable, there are times when growth is slow, or there is decline, tension arises, programs need to be put to death and key people leave for various reasons (church planting for example).
The main thrust is that you just need to get through them, they happen and are actually beneficial to your life and ministry.
Jesus often used horticultural examples about life. Pruning and harvesting.
Pruning – These are the hard times, they hurt, but are needed. Sometimes the tree has become fruitless and though loved needs to be cut back, so ministries are shut down, leadership is changed, new people raised up. These changes are hard, Change always is, but if a church isn’t constantly changing (to reach more, to grow, to send out) (while keeping the Gospel constant) it becomes stagnant and stops producing fruit (more Christians). Therefore it needs to be pruned so new growth can occur and produce new fruit.
Harvesting – This often follows rough patches where pruning occurs, the pruning produces more fruit, like a pruned fruit tree will, then the time of harvest will occur again. It is important to remember that ministry is not always harvesting.
At Fresh we are in a time of pruning, trying to work out how to go forward, to produce a larger harvest, it’s hard.
Where are you at in your ministry, church, setting? Are there branches that are no longer producing fruit and need to be pruned? Or are you still hurting and ignoring the harvest? Maybe there is a great harvest occuring, praise God!
This is post three of ten in a serries called ‘10 things I wish I knew about ministry when I was 25‘ (#1, #2)