January 28, 2019

Battling Loneliness in Ministry

Wes Sheley

In ministry we often find ourselves in a place where we see a lot of eyes watching us. We start to feel like we live in a glass house. We have those in leadership over us watching what we do. We have those that we minister to that are watching us because they themselves are looking for direction. When we have all those eyes on us we often find ourselves feeling lonely and not knowing how to deal with it. I have found myself saying, “that its just part of ministry”. However does it have to be that way? I want to give you 3 ways to help battle Loneliness in Ministry.Start SmallWe all need to find 3-5 people that we can go to and share what we are going through. These will be your confidants. We are blessed when we can identify these individuals in our lives. These are people that will be for you and will be with you no matter what. I am blessed to have some of these people in my life. I was just recently on a retreat and was able to share some things that only they could understand. I cant tell you how important and healthy it was to know that I have others willing to walk with me in support during this time in my life. Remember these individuals will not always give you the answers you want and you my not like what they tell you but you will know that they are looking out for you. So ask yourself who are they in your life? If you don’t have 3-5 individuals in you life then I encourage you to start praying that God will reveal these individuals in your life? We are better together.
Go OutsideWe need to find individuals outside of our church/ministry to walk life with. We also need to find someone besides our spouse and family to share things with. Don’t get me wrong these individuals are very important in our lives and there are many things that we can share with them however we need to find those outside of the circle of ministry and situations we face to give us a clear outside perspective. These individuals could be our Network Leadership Team or another pastor at a church. You need to find a place where you don’t have to be “on” where you have it all together.Go Back in TimeFor some of us the options just aren’t there. Maybe we are just starting off in ministry or just moved to a new place and don’t know anyone. I found myself in early in ministry at this place and I had to go back to those that poured into my life growing up. I started to reach out to my old youth pastors and individuals that had huge investments in my life growing up. One of my first phone calls was to one of my old youth pastors and my conversation started with, “I am SO sorry for what I put you through.” We both laughed and then we were able to have an open dialog about somethings I was going through. He was able to give be some outside perspective which honestly saved me in ministry. Reach out and let these individuals once again speak into your life. After all their wisdom helped you get where you are now.I have learned that God will always provide the right people at the right time to pour into our lives for that particular season you are walking through. I have had to learn to pick my head up and not look down. I constantly have to remind myself that God has brought me this far and He will not let me go. My son’s favorite verse in which he writes in all of his baseball caps is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”Remember you are not alone

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