Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Disappointment

Being a pastor comes with a number of responsibilities. Because of my position, a lot of people come to me to help them figure things out. In a lot cases, it's energizing. There are many problems that have a solution. When I'm able to help someone think through the details of what they're trying to accomplish, it's fulfilling because I feel like I'm helping them become successful. A few years ago there was a commercial by BASF that said, "We don't make a lot of the products you use every day, we make the products you use everyday BETTER!" I could really relate to that statement because that's what I feel God has called me to do in the church. I love it when I can bring an idea or a new perspective to ministry that helps us to be more effective in our mission. That's when I feel I am accomplishing what God has asked me to do. But I've found that there are many problems that don't come with a simple solution. Especially when dealing with people's family issues, marriages, money problems, illnesses, etc. There have been a couple of times where I've been approached by a church member telling me about tough situations in a friend or family member's life and then asked, "So what can 'the church' do about it?" I know what they're asking. They want me to tell them, "No problem, I'll call the 'church hotline' and all of your needs will be taken care of." But many times there is no "hotline" set up to meet that particular need. Or a family may have financial problems that go far beyond what our church's benevolence budget can meet. Many times the person who is asking for help walks away disappointed, or frustrated that the church couldn't help them in their time of need. I'm not saying that help wasn't offered, but sometimes the help that is offered doesn't meet the level of expectation of the person, and is seen as no help at all. When that happens, nobody is more disappointed than me. I became a pastor to help people in their time of need. I truly believe that God is the answer, and that He can make provision in people's lives when they are struggling. Unfortunately, some of the people who ask the church for help don't have the proper perspective. They expect "the church" to solve all of their problems, when many times they are reaping the results of bad decisions that they have made in the past. When situations happen like this, it can make me feel like it's pointless even to try. Is what I'm doing making a difference at all? As I was praying about this situation, God reminded me of Galatians 6:9 which says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Sometimes it would seem easier to give up, but I know that is not God's plan. I'm going to continue to ask Him for the wisdom to meet every challenge, and hopefully, even if I disappoint some people along the way, I won't be a disappointment to Him.

2 comments:

Aaron said...

Good post. I've been thinking about a lot of the same things lately as well, as it seems there have been a higher number of people needing assistance lately.

I get tickled when members of the church come to me asking for help for another member of the church, asking that "the church" do something. What I try to get them to see is that THEY are the church - not the pastors or staff. The people are the church, and that if it is on their heart for someone to get help, that they should do it. We should be taking care of one another. It shouldnt' be relegated to simply the church building's budget. It's when church members take care of other church members in need that "the church" is truly being what "the church" is meant to be.

Good post, Mark the Greek.

Elbo said...

143 days since your last post! We need more!!!!