I have been asked what my true feelings are about the Pastoral Ministry. I want everyone to understand that the ministry was the last thing I wanted to do. I tried time and time again to get out of it. I tried making deals with God and I went so far as to deceive to try to avoid it. But God's call was clear to me and I knew if I refused to follow God's leading I would end up in a place that would be completely out of God's will.
I saw first hand the life of a Pastor as my Dad was one all my life that I can remember. I saw the way he was treated at times by church leaders and members and that was the last thing I wanted to do but I couldn't say no when I got a call from God to serve. To be honest I don't know why He chose me because I was a mess but I believe He was going to break me and make me a useable vessel. I hated standing in front of groups and speaking and the first few times I did it I was a mess until I learned that I couldn't do it without God's power and couldn't do it on my own.
Over the years I have gotten some of the same terrible treatment by church leaders and church members. The lessons that I learned from my Dad and the leadership of the Holy Spirit was to not let the devil win. I had many fights but God stood between Satan and myself and He always won.
The ministry is not an easy road. I hear it all the time and it grieves me when I hear people say that the ministry is a lazy man's job. If you are lazy the ministry is the last job you should choose. I had a man once say to me that I have a gravy train job. I told him to follow me for one day and at the end of the day I would see what he thought. Well, he followed me for part of a day and he couldn't take it anymore and he asked to go home.
The ministry is a lonely place to be but if you are called of God you will survive. Not everyone will agree with you and not everyone will give you the respect you deserve. Even fellow ministers and laymen will fail you but God will never fail you.
In closing I want to share one last comment. I once had a deacon attack me and say things that were nasty. He even said them in the presence of another minister. After he left the other minister said to me something I will never forget. "Stay the course and don't give up!" I have tried to do that throughout my ministry. By the way I have had some great deacons in my ministry and some great trustees not all of them were unbearable.
Thanks for letting me share.