I was once at a conference with mostly ministers and other church leaders in attendance. A friend of mine came in late the first evening. The room was full but there was an empty seat on a back row.
The guy took this seat. Meanwhile, the conference began and our host proceeded to welcome us to the campus. I glanced at my friend. He had only been seated for about two minutes when he said “hello” to the person on his left. This guy was a teacher at the institution hosting the seminar. This guy looked at my friend and mumbled something. He then immediately got up from his chair and moved elsewhere in the room.
I witnessed this scene and thought, “Wow, we spend a lot of money to conduct conferences like this one. Guest speakers are here from different parts of the country. The point is to encourage church leaders. Yet, we can’t even say hello and sit with these ministers.”
Many ministers, preachers, pastors, and elders are very weary.
What creates weariness?
I’m not quite sure. But I do know what contributes to it. For many of us, this is not a weariness that comes from reading a book for hours or having a fascinating discussion into the wee hours of the morning.
Rather, I am referring to the kind of weariness that comes from the work of ministry.
Where does weariness come from?
- Weariness is to spend hours and hours with a couple about their marriage only to see them divorce.
- Weariness is to see the church respond so graciously to a family who has been burned out by a fire only to see them place membership at another church three months later.
- Weariness is to pray for an opportunity to invite your neighbor to church only to see some of your friends walk past her without speaking.
- Weariness is to be in a church situation characterized by much strife and tension.
- Weariness is knowing you need to have thick skin, but the insults and rude comments are becoming too much.
- Weariness is to see the long, slow death of someone in your congregation. Then the funeral. Exhausting.
- Weariness is to realize that you are deeply disappointed regarding other church leaders who have behaved immaturely in a recent church situation.
Can you relate to any of these?
(You might find encouragement in: Matthew 11:25-30; Psalm 63; and Joshua 1.)