Ministry Monday: Do You Feel Your Church isn’t Grateful?
Pastors, ministry leaders, and church volunteers often sacrifice significantly to contribute to their church. Be it giving up family time, late nights, waking up early, suffering hurtful aggression, giving financially, or an array of other examples, the dedication to serve comes at a cost. Even more challenging is when these efforts go unappreciated and unrewarded. It can be hurtful when your church isn’t grateful (or at least they don’t they don’t seem to show it). Every situation is unique, but perhaps the perspectives below on practicing patience when feeling unrewarded will speak to you.
4 Reasons to be Patient When Your Church Isn’t Grateful:
Waiting is time for preparation –
Today is preparation for tomorrow. How you handle your present circumstances determines your readiness for the next season of your life. Lessons learned today produce profit tomorrow.
Don’t waste the present because it’s not what you desire. It is preparation time, an opportunity to develop character qualities needed for what God has next. All your patience when you may not be rewarded can become ministry opportunities.
2) Remember the testing of your faith produces steadfastness –
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing,” (James 1:3-4, ESV).
Remember, the testing of your faith is taking place when you are experiencing lack of gratitude. The purpose is to prove or show that what is tested is genuine. It has been put to the test and has measured up. Trials call your faith to the witness stand to validate in experience what you say you believe. The goal is to become perfect, complete, and lacking nothing.
In colleges and universities, you can take a College Level Examination to see if you know enough so you don’t have to take the course. You can “CLEP out.” You’ll have acquired enough knowledge through some other means that you may pass the test and be granted credit without having to go through the classroom instruction. Well, there is no CLEP for Christian character and spiritual leadership. You can’t CLEP your way into spiritual maturity. The required curriculum is growth through adversity. That may not be good news, but it will produce a good product – a better you.
While waiting be diligent in your responsibilities –
This is active waiting, not passive waiting. Passive waiting says, “there’s nothing I can do. I don’t deserve this, I don’t want this.” Passive waiting doesn’t look forward, only backwards. How one handles the unwanted circumstance, lack of appreciation, the mundane, or seemingly meaningless tasks, serves as preparation and evidence of readiness for desired and significant roles of responsibility. It would be hard to drive forward in life, looking in the rear-view mirror. Don’t be stuck feeling useless, look for ways to move forward.
Waiting often creates opportunities for greater good –
For Joseph, an extra two years of waiting in prison and not receiving the gratitude he deserved, led to a better outcome than he could have imagined. And Joseph did great work for God. God’s timing was perfect in Joseph’s life and it is perfect in yours. Too often we try to get out of the pain of patience by our own poorly designed schemes. God is saying, “I have something better than anything you can create for yourself.”
God wants the best for you. God appreciates you. Today’s hardship and patience may result in tomorrow’s blessing. In the meantime, be diligent, be hopeful, and be available. You and your ministry are true blessings, please remember that even when you may not receive much recognition from people.
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