7 Things to Do When Church Work Just Hurts

(Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)

It happens to all of us in ministry at some point. The work to which we know God has called us becomes painful. Sometimes it happens because we grieve the sin of others. At other times, it happens because others wrongly accuse us of something. And, to be frank, it's sometimes painful because others rightly point out something we need to hear. When the pain's great, here are some steps to consider:

  1. Don't run from your calling. You can't run far enough to outrun God's plan, and ignoring your calling will bring only more pain. In fact, the pain of disobedience is usually greater than other kinds of pain.
  2. Without throwing others under the bus, ask trusted friends to pray that God will give you wisdom. None of us is wise enough to deal with everything we face, and all of us will at some point respond wrongly to a situation. We desperately need God's wisdom.
  3. Remember that we're sinners working with sinners. That truth doesn't give any of us permission to do ungodly things, but it does remind us to be patient with each other.
  4. Ask God to teach you whatever you need to learn from the pain. It's often the case that God is teaching us something, even when others unjustifiably stand against us. Sometimes we learn through our own unhealthy reactions where our heart still needs some work.
  5. Graciously and lovingly confront others as needed. You may well need to call someone to repentance, but do so with grace and mercy. Don't respond in a way that's no better than how others have wrongly acted.
  6. Look around, and prayerfully seek evidence of God's hand in your ministry. In the midst of pain, it's easy to see only that—and not see what God is doing in other areas of your ministry. Don't let the enemy turn your attention to only the negative.
  7. Know that the pain doesn't have to be enduring. I've had several times in my years of ministry that I was ready to quit that day. In those times, I was often hurt, angry, disillusioned (often rightly so)—and I'd had enough. I can now look back, though, and see that pain didn't have to mark the rest of my ministry. God graciously brings us through the heartache.

Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders