by Carey Nieuwhof: Life is emotional. But if you’re in ministry, it feels like it’s even a little more emotional.
As in, crazy-emotional-roller-coaster emotional.
That’s true even if you think of yourself as more rational than emotional. Sometimes you get surprised by how intense ministry is. I started out in my twenties as a lawyer, so emotion wasn’t really a huge part of my wiring.
But within a few years of beginning ministry, I realized that if I didn’t figure out how to navigate the emotions of ministry, I probably wouldn’t make it in the long run.
And looking back on my time in ministry so far, I can honestly say the biggest crises I’ve had to navigate have not been spiritual or vocational nearly as much as they’ve been emotional.
What I mean by that is I didn’t know how to emotionally cope with the demands of my calling. And, sadly, if you can’t emotionally cope with the demands of your calling, you’ll likely abandon it. Not because you want to, but because you can’t figure out a way to make it work anymore.
If you can’t emotionally cope with the demands of your calling, you’ll probably abandon it.Click To Tweet
My biggest challenges for both paid staff and volunteers seem to involve handling the pressures, challenges, and criticism of ministry.
So, to that end: Why is ministry so emotional for so many?
Here’s my theory. Ministry combines three areas of life that are intensely personal:
And your community
Because of that, it gets confusing.
What you do is what you believe.
What you believe is what you do.
Your friends are also the people you serve and lead.
Throw your family into the mix (because they believe what you believe and are friends with the people you/they lead and serve) and bam – it’s even more confusing…
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