When Ministry Hurts

I’m not sure where you’re at in your life right now but we can all remember a time when doing this thing called ministry was uncomfortable or even painful.  We’re imperfect human beings living in a broken world and sometimes life gets dark, our spirits grow tired, and we let the burdens of life distract us. It doesn’t matter if the situation that caused the emotional wounds is from inside the church, in your personal life, or a result of global events; any form of emotional distress can make us feel unworthy to minister to others.

As a former worship leader, there were Sunday mornings when I thought,”How can I possibly lead others in worship when all I can think about is how heavy my heart feels?” Ministry leaders are not immune to depression, stress, worry, or anxiety and if you’re walking through a dark season in your life right now, I just want to take this opportunity to encourage you.


I know you want to feel like you’ve got it all together. I want to feel like I’ve got it all together, too. Truth is, none of us have it all together. God knows we will all sin, we will all fall short, we will all hit a wall sometimes, but he still called us anyway. He never intended for you to do this alone. He says in Matthew 11:28,“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  This doesn’t exclude pastors, worship leaders, or anyone else who is active in ministry. He means absolutely everyone.

If you’re burdened, if you’re hurt, if you’re heart is heavy, turn to the one that wants to meet you where you are.


There are days when it feels like life has us bound to a permanent state of anxiety and we’re stuck in a spiritual war we can never win. So many times we choose to fight battles that we were never meant to fight. Believe me, I know it’s hard to let God take control when you just want to handle it yourself.

God isn’t just capable of fighting our battles, he asks us repeatedly in scripture to let him! No one, and no thing, can stop the Lord Almighty. Not your worry. Not your past. Not your current circumstances. Not even the enemy himself.


Fear and worry are very real issues. So real that the Bible mentions them many, many times. It seems as though people in leadership positions prefer the keep these feelings suppressed so they don’t lose credibility but I would argue that the more open and honest we are about actually being flawed human beings, the more those around us will listen. It’s easy to view church as a physical structure instead of a tribe of believers and that disconnect can affect how we relate to each other.

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT) says,”But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

I know sometimes being in a position of leadership in the church can be painful. Sometimes everyday life is painful, too. It seems as though we wake up every morning to a new battle but today I pray that we can aim to become the family we were created to be.

A family that grows together. A family that weeps together. A family that rejoices together. A family that stands together.

Even when it hurts.

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