"Over the course of nearly 20 years in ministry now, I've found myself envious, frustrated, and even believing that somehow I fall short as a leader when compared to other pastors.
- One of my Pandora stations is "Nature Sounds With Music." (I'm a party animal like that)
- Sometimes I eat ice cream for lunch. Only ice cream.
- I rarely watch tv.
- I struggle to keep the balls of motherhood, ministry, and my messy life all in the air at the same time.
- Most days I go to bed feeling as though there are a million things I never got done.
- Ministry overwhelms me....both in good and bad ways.
- I feel the pressure to define the success of my ministry based on what other people have deemed success.
A seminar speaker delivers a motivational message? They must be an expert. I'd better do what they say.
A new book by one who has seen tremendous success in ministry....I can replicate that.
The expert says I need small groups. I build small groups.
The expert says that I need to use this program to schedule my calendar. Done.
The expert says that I need to focus my ministry on a certain group. You got it.
The experts say that I need to use their curriculum in order for my ministry to be successful. Ordered.
Why is it that after each book, podcast, or webinar, I feel like there is something I'm still missing?
Because I am. I am missing me......Jill.
I am missing the opportunity to understand the unique role to which God has called me.
I am missing the chance to learn the unique group of kids over which I am responsible.
I am missing the opportunity to embrace who I am as a pastor and as a person.
Over the course of nearly 20 years in ministry now, I've found myself envious, frustrated, and even believing that somehow I fall short as a leader when compared to other pastors.
I'm done comparing my ministry.
I'm done comparing our programs.
I am done trying to adapt to the management styles of other great leaders.
I want to embrace me.
I want to embrace the middle of the pack (not mega) church to which I've been called.
I want to embrace the gifts and talents that I have and develop those specifically.
I admit that I have been giving God someone else's best. Not mine!
Today I stop the comparison game and become the Children's Pastor I've been called to be.
2 Timothy 4:4-5 says, "But-keep your eye on what you're doing.................do a thorough job as God's servant." I've not been called to keep my eyes on what other people are doing.
I don't have an army of paid staff under my leadership.
I don't have scores of small group leaders.
I don't have a check in area that resembles a theme park.
I am me. I am gifted, qualified, and love doing ministry in the middle of the pack.
I believe that God wants to liberate me from this comparison trap. I love the ideas that He is giving me to make this practical. I will share those in my next post.
In the mean time, I'd love to hear from you. Have you ever felt "less than" when it comes to your ministry? Have you been jealous, discouraged, or frustrated because of what "so and so" had? What steps did you take to overcome this negative mind-set and embrace the pastor you've been called to be?