If you want to know how important a player is, you have to look at how the team does without them. Golden State has won 3 of the last 4 NBA championships but they're in the run for a top pick without their Klay and Steph. When LeBron left the Cavs (both times), they went from championship contender to lottery picks. The year without Manning in Indianapolis, they got the top pick.
Pastor, I have some good news for you. You're not Peyton Manning, LeBron James, or Steph Curry. You're you. And God doesn't need you.
I know that sounds kinda harsh, but it's actually freeing. In a performance mindset, we can think of ourselves as indispensable. For the Colts, Warriors, and Cavs, their best players really are that important. But you're not. Because you're not the best player in your church.
The success of your ministry is not dependent on you. It's on God. You are not the potter, He is. You are not the source or power, He is. And you are not the most important person in your church, He is.
Be faithful. Work hard. Give it your all. A healthy ministry has no room for laziness. Lazy pastors are a disgrace to God and to the local church. But you're not under that pressure of performance where everything depends on you. God is the one carrying the weight of your ministry, of your church, and He's going to be the one to see it through.
That sermon you felt hit like a flat tire? God can still use it to transform hearts.
The family who stopped coming because "their needs weren't being met"? God will send who He will.
Offerings don't seem as strong? God will provide for your family and He's the owner of the cattle on 1000 hills.
The key to faithful ministry isn't results, it's Plodding. Day after day. Week after week. And knowing that you're not needed for God to work, but you're part of His work anyway. That should set us free and give us joy. God doesn't need you, but God does delight in you.
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.