I had a prof in seminary who emphasized several times that entering into pastoral ministry in the local church is a sure-fire way to be wounded and hurt.

Harsh words, but in my experience they are the absolute truth.

Growing up with a dad who has always been a pastor I’ve come to experience this several times before I even began working at a church myself.

Friends and co-workers will likely come and go over my time in church ministry and I have no doubt that many people will stab me in the back.

After my dad went through a difficult church split many people asked me what I thought about church. At first I wasn’t sure. The pain from people who I thought were good friends turning against my dad and family stung in the worst of ways.

But I quickly realized that the church is full of sinful people just like me. And being wounded is far better than never experiencing life with people.

Over the last 6 months I’ve had to say goodbye to close friends who I worked with and I’ve battled feelings of burnout. But every time I began to wonder if it was all worth the effort, I had one quick thought:

“This isn’t about me.”

I think those words probably apply more to those of you in Christian ministries, but it does also apply to all of us walking with Christ.

None of this is about us.

Our lives are not our own. We don’t own them, He does. They are for His glory and His purpose.

Thoughts from you? Have you been wounded before?

  • http://www.distort.it Matthew Snider

    A wise word brother.

    Thanks for that!

  • Ben

    I am still dealing with past wounds from my previous season working in a church; that was compounded by even more issues when I went to church here. My biggest issue that I now deal with is that I trust very few people and constantly think that people will stab me in the back or let me down no matter what.
    God is doing a work of healing in me but it has been a very difficult season to walk through (much of it alone). To be honest, this has been one of the most depressing seasons I have been through and the most faith tested. But God, eh?

  • Natalie

    I think this is true even outside of the church. I know I see it all the time at my office and I definitely hear about it from my friends who also work in offices. Unfortunately, I think it might just be the sinful nature of people and while we would like to think that people wouldn’t act like that at church, it just isn’t so.

  • Brad Schlief

    Amen, brother…preach it!

  • http://www.melakamin.com Mela Kamin

    Yes, I have been wounded and the more I’ve become involved, the more it’s occurred or become apparent to me. I try not to jump ship, because I know it’s not about me and I’m just as in need of a Savior as the people who’ve hurt me are. But, it doesn’t make it any easier. I went into ministry a bit naive and with misconceptions. The persecution from inside the church blindsided us, but has definitely given my husband & I some interesting decisions to make and ones we feel helped us grow closer to Christ.

    Interestingly, I didn’t grow up attending church – we were believers, but still didn’t go/participate/invest. I later found out it was largely because my own parents were so wounded they chose to leave. I totally get where they’re coming from now and don’t judge them, though I did for a long time.

  • shellie (baylormum)

    Recovery is a lot the same. Sooooo many people who struggle & come in & out of the rooms. So many with the look of desperation & pain on their faces. There has to be willingness to walk in the room & sit all the way. There has to be patience, because recovery doesn’t happen overnight; it’s over a lifetime. Taking the “cotton out of your ears & into your mouth”. In other words, shut-up & listen. You are going to hear how to live a life. Clean.

    Isn’t our relationship with God like that? Yes, there will always be times in our lives when there is pain & wounding. But, I choose to look for healing. In the words of others & the Bible. So many have come before us & shown us the way to live. And how to share this joy of life with others.

  • http://www.davidgoodwin.com David

    That thought : “this isn’t about me” is what has kept my faith secure when everything else is an everchanging landscape. I play a part, I’m not a pawn in a game, but my wants/needs/etc aren’t the goal…

    As always, a great word Tyler. Even though I’m not in a pastoral/leadership position at the moment, I’m sure that’s merely a season that’s going to end. Right now, I’m both 100% certain it’s time and 100% freaked out by that.

  • http://deTheos.com Jeff Patterson

    Well said. This isn’t about us, and especially not me.

    I’ve been reading Leaders Who Last, and wife is reading Leading on Empty, which I grabbed and looked at a few chapters yesterday. Can you guess what we are thinking about for this long-haul as church leaders?