Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Through the Disappointments and Hurts of Ministry

I believe we need to be careful and not let hurts and disappointments harbor in our hearts. It is a normal part of life to be hurt and disappointed, but God does not want us to let them stay. We need to forgive those who hurt and disappoint us and move forward. We need to deal with the hurt and disappointment. It is important to admit we have been hurt or disappointed.

I have mentioned hurt and disappoint a lot in the first paragraph. It is because I believe, as women in ministry, we do not allow ourselves to admit when we have been hurt or disappointed. We could be disappointed in the way our marriage has turned out, our ministry has developed (or not developed), or life in general. We need to admit and commit it to the Lord.

This is where the friendships with other women in ministry will be helpful. A good friend will see the hurt and disappointment and help you through it. This woman will be a friend in whom you can be accountable. Share hurts and fears with her. Ask her to pray and make you responsible for your thoughts and feelings. Do not be fake. Be real and open. That is the only way to overcome the anger and hurt.

Dr. Thurman, in The Lies We Believe quotes James Allen from his book As a Man Thinketh; "Every thought seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind and to take root there produces its own kind. good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad." (pg24)

Dr. Thurman points out that lies are beliefs, expectations, and attitudes that are not reality. We get these expectations and attitudes from a variety of places: i.e. media like TV, radio, magazines, movies, etc. Our culture tells us we are to look, act, and talk a certain way. Even in ministry there are certain ways we are suppose to act and dress or people will look at us strangely. I am not talking about what the Bible says regarding how to dress and act. I am talking about the culture of ministry.

When we attend church functions or denominational meetings some of things we are thinking about before we go are ..... What do I wear? What will so and so be wearing?

We are to look presentable. It is ok to want to look good, but do not get carried away. We do not want to make others feel less than perfect if they don’t have what we have, or we should not feel bad if we can’t afford what someone else has.

Before I sign off I want to encourage you to think about the good that has happened in your ministry. What are some of the blessings God has given you? Think on these things. Allow the Holy Spirit to jog your memory. If you are going through a difficult time it will be a little harder to think of the good, but it is important that you do. It will help get you back on the right track.

God is so good. He wants you to succeed and prosper in ministry. He wants you to find a good woman to talk to and confide in. He knows how important it is to your spiritual and emotional health. If you already have this person write me and tell me about your relationship, so others will be encouraged. If you do not have this person yet, but are going to find someone please let me know when you do and let it be an encouragement to other women who may be hesitant on finding someone.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Power of Godly Friendships continued

In my opinion it is very important to make a very determined effort to not let the meeting become superficial in which you are not open and cannot share. Let the goal be to help make each of you stronger, closer, and more trusting of each other. If it is just one or two people that is ok. The main thing is to make sure you get together.

Getting together is not meant to be a time of bashing churches or spouses or blaming other people for hurts and disappointments. If one of you is hurt it is to be a time of healing. If one of you feels like you are spiritually dying let it be a time of restoration. If you are just starting out in ministry or feel you are just fine, then it is to be a preventative maintenance regimen.

We have come from a culture that has told us to keep everything to ourselves. In my opinion I think that has been a mistake. Think of a marriage relationship for a moment - it cannot be healthy when the two people involved keep things inside. It is the same with people in ministry. If we are going through situations that seem too hard to go through DO NOT hold it all inside. It could very well lead to a crisis situation. Find someone to confide in and be a support for each other.

If anyone is more comfortable confiding in someone like myself please do not hesitate to email me at

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Power of Godly Friendships

We all need friends - especially women who are in ministry. When we give of ourselves continually we can become drained and just need someone to talk with that understands our lives. Other women can be friends, but they will not understand the life of a woman in ministry. That is why it is so important for women in ministry to open up to each other - and I have found that to be one of the most difficult things for a woman in ministry to do.

Why? There could be several reasons. Over the years women in ministry have learned to be "closed" so they would not be hurt, or hurt their husband's ministry. Little by little that is changing and women are coming to realize the need to be open. There have been too many pastor's families in crisis situations to ignore the need for relationships and better mentoring.

It is my opinion we need to develop friendships with other women in ministry. Take time to get to know each other. Break down denominational walls and get to know other women in ministry. We may not have the personality to go out and get to know someone we don't know, but it is very important we do. Be persistant. Schedule a meeting where you go to a coffee shop for the first time. Then meet monthly at the same place. Get other women together and go to the beach, or for a walk somewhere. The point is to just hang out and enjoy each other's company. A relationship will develop from there and when someone has a need for support or encouragement a relationship will have already been established to help.

I would love to hear how some of you are doing this already. Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In one of my previous posts I talked about intential mentoring. My prayer is that some of these posts will be a part of a mentoring process in your life. This should not take the place of a physical woman in your life, but I trust I will be an encouragement.

Dr. Chris Thurman in his book, “The Lies We Believe,” says, “Most of our unhappiness and emotional struggles are caused by the lies we tell ourselves.” He goes on to say that until we recognize these lies and replace them with truth emotional health is impossible. (pg 22)

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I let hurts from our first pastorate, issues in two of our churches, and the disappointment of our handicapped son fester in my heart throughout years of ministry.

I grew up in Tulsa, OK, around positive preachers all my life, but I allowed all that positive influence to be crowded out by all the negative surrounding me. That was where I went wrong.

That is what I want each woman reading this to understand - DO NOT ALLOW THE ENEMY TO CROWD OUT THE POSITIVE THAT ONLY GOD CAN BRING INTO YOUR SPIRIT.

All around us we are told by the media, women, law, and some churches that we don’t have to put up with this; we can get out of the situation if we choose. I had let all these hurts and disappointments culminate to the point of despair in my life. I didn’t hear the voice of truth, because by the time I reached the point of despair, I had made up my mind and didn’t want to hear the truth. I was not looking to the Source; I was looking at things in my life God had not answered.

The reality was I was looking at lies and listening to Satan’s words, not God’s. I had to admit and confess all my wrong thinking. I had to ask God to forgive me and get me back on track. I would not wish that point of desperation on anyone.

You might be wondering how I could let myself get to that point. In all honesty I needed to be truthful with myself. I needed someone else to help me see that the road I was taking was only leading to destruction. I needed another woman in ministry, but I did not have that kind of a friendship.

As women in ministry this is of utmost importance - WE NEED FRIENDS! We need to have friends with other women in ministry. Why? Because they understand our circumstances. I will go into more detail in the next post.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Is Being "Called" Worth It? Is it a Privilege?

This is the beginning of a series on finding out whether we believe ministry is worth it or a privilege? I trust you will be encouraged by what is written and let me know what you think.

There are many ups and downs to this life of ministry. It is totally up to us how we deal with and handle them. We can let our spiritual life suffer, by letting hurt turn into anger. Anger, if not dealt with will eventually turn into bitterness. Or, we can allow the Holy Spirit to mature us to new, higher levels in Him. “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Eph. 4:26, 27 NIV

Responding Successfully to the Ministry Challenge

What do we do when we are hurt? Do we lash out? Do we hold it inside? How we react to the hurts and disappointments in ministry and our life will affect us positively or negatively. We have two choices: one choice is to let God mature our spirit, the other choice is to let our enemy, the devil, destroy our spirit and eventually our life.

Next time I will quote from the book, "Lies We Believe," by Dr. Chris Thurman. Check back soon and let me know how you are feeling about the ministry you are in at this time.