A Note from Kelly King: Have you ever sensed God moving you from one ministry area to another? Maybe you’ve felt like you’ve failed. More often, instead of failure, it could be a season of release. If you are questioning your calling or sense that God is closing a door of your ministry, be encouraged by today’s article by Deb Douglas.
We pour into lives. We work to show the love of Christ in practical ways. We give of ourselves. We pray. We encourage. We listen.
Then the person we are ministering to and helping makes a bad decision. Relapses. Sin takes over.
We feel like failures. We question ourselves, our call, and our ability to serve.
The truth seems far away at this point, but the reality is it is not our failure. We cannot change anyone. We can disciple, pray for, and help, but we cannot “fix” anyone. We are not responsible for someone else’s choices.
But when this scenario is played out over again and again, it becomes overwhelming. We begin to wonder what we are doing and why. We want to quit.
How do we know when it is time for us to quit?
- We feel it is “our” ministry.
- We have lost our sense of boundaries.
- We are spending more time doing ministry rather than being a minister.
- We feel every problem encountered by everyone in our realm of influence is our problem.
- Our passion for the ministry is dwindling.
- We are exhausted and feel overwhelmed 95% of our time.
- Others are advising it is time to move on.
- God is calling us into a new area of service.
What do we do? Take a check up. Honestly answer these questions:
- How am I taking care of my personal growth and relationship with Christ?
- Am I taking time to process and ponder things happening in my life?
- Does my schedule have space for my family time?
- Am I keeping firm boundaries?
- Am I spending my family’s time, money, and resources on the people I am serving? If so, stop! This does not help others in the long term but it does damage your family.
- What’s my payoff? What am I getting out of serving others? If the payoff is that it makes me “feel” good, then I need to reassess why I am serving.
- Is this ministry still my passion or is there a new passion in my life?
Over the last month, I have had six women slide into poor decisions, relapse, and run from God. As I sat overwhelmed and staring at a wall, my godly husband pointed out the obvious: it is time to move on from that ministry area. The frustration I felt immediately lifted as I listened to his wisdom. I was left with a choice; I could either stay in that ministry area because it is cool or I could refocus on following where God is leading me now. Time to move from one messy ministry to another for me!
For more help and resources on ministering in the messy, check out Women Reaching Women in Crisis and Steps: Gospel-Centered Recovery or refer to the other articles in the Hurting Women or Ministering in the Messy categories.
God has called Deb Douglas to make a difference in the world, one woman at a time. For over 39 years, Deb has served in women’s ministry. Now she spends her time ministering to women in the sex trade ministry and serving as the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Bossier City. Deb is a contributor to LifeWay’s All Access blog, a freelance writer, and an event speaker. Deb was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. Deb is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.