If God has called you to be a missionary, don't settle for being a King. - Charles SpurgeonAre you content in ministry? My friend Jesse Herring wrote a great article here about Effectiveness In Ministry. It got me thinking about a lot of things in reference to job satisfaction, commitment, and the "grass-is-greener" on the other side mentality.
Of course the reason the grass is greener on the other side is because there is more crap over there. But I see this mentality among youth ministers and ministers in general frequently. Could we do more at another church? Could we better minister if we had a more supportive senior Pastor? Some of these questions are common sense, but sometimes we beat ourselves to death with questioning instead of focusing on what God has given us.
It occurred to me that a lot of people are trying to be content in ministry. They want to be happy, and for things to be stress free. Sometimes people become so not-content that it drives them away from ministry into a more "safer" career field in the secular world. But I don't think this is the way God intended them. Actually I think it is the opposite. I've heard people say that the "safest" place to be is in God's will. Actually, it seems in the New Testament that the most dangerous place to be is in God's will. When we are doing what God intended us to do, we will encounter the most violent opposition imaginable.
Think about it. If you are working at a bank making $80,000 a year, the devil doesn't care. Now I know that some people are called into this field and there are Godly people, like the CEO of Krispy Kreme who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with. This man was full of Godly Wisdom, and used it for the Kingdom and not only for the secular world. But I'm talking to you - Youth Pastor, Minister, Teacher, etc.
You are probably encountering GREAT struggles and trial in your current position because YOU ARE DOING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO. And the devil knows this, and he doesn't like it. He wants you out. That's why the deacon board doesn't like the concerts you have to attract un-churched teens. That's why the parents of your students don't want you going to a camp where they talk about gifts of the Spirit. That's why your Senior Pastor thinks you should not go on a mission trip because missions should be done at home (which is why you try to do them 51 weeks out of the year.)
You may not be content, but I suggest, than nothing you find in life will be more fulfilling. And I know that right now you are not seeing the fruits of your labors. Let me help you - Two years ago I was ready to give up. Ready to throw in the towel because I didn't see growth. But can I let you know that we currently have 7 young people from our ministry who have accepted a call into full-time service of the Lord? As of this fall, we will have 1 in Bible College, 3 in ministry internships, 1 on his way to a doctorate degree, and two waiting to be accepted into Bible college. If two years ago I had given up, I don't know if I would have seen any of this.
I have often thought how content I would be utilizing my gifts and abilities in a marketing or sales field in the secular world. I think I could make a lot of money. I'm not arrogant, just confident. But I doubt I could lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day and be more fulfilled than I am now.
Keep doing what you are doing.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. - James 4:7