Has Ministry Become a Misery?

Has Ministry Become a Misery?

Malachi 1:13: “But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts.”

God is constantly serving. Every minute of every day, He is holding the universe together, battling demonic plots, saving sinners, teaching people, forgiving sin, and answering prayers. To help Him love and serve people, God created a group of ministry leaders to help Him help people. They were called the priests.

The priests, however, got sick of their job. Some got bored with the routine of leading worship, doing counseling, teaching the Bible, visiting the sick, and lifting burdens. Others tried to turn what was supposed to be a divine calling into yet another dreary job. You know the drill – show up late, leave early, slack off, and do as little as you possibly can without getting fired. If possible, they would sleep on the job, go through the motions, and when the boss was not looking, feel free to increase their compensation but steal from the company.

Since God was their boss, He felt free to give them a performance review. Apparently, they did not know that God could hear their bellyaching about Him, the job, and the people He gave them to care for as they sat out back smoking cigarettes when they were supposed to be working. But, God hears all and knows all – including our eye-rolling, deep-sighing disdain for serving others.

To be sure, there is such a thing as a godly weariness in ministry. Jesus Himself was so tired that He took naps and slept through a raging storm on a boat at sea. Paul said that his energy was sometimes poured out like a glass that was completely empty.  In Malachi, God is not talking about the godly occasion of being weary in ministry but rather the ungodly occasion of being weary of ministry. This is what happens when a married couple lukewarm toward the Lord and one another go through the motions of caring without any real passion to serve God or one another. This happens when a person in vocational ministry secretly hates their job, has hardened their heart toward their people, and hurls insults at God in their mind.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ came down from the Kingdom as our humble servant. He did not grow weary of ministry, and pressed forward through impossible obstacles and oppositions. In love, He died that we might live, and lives that we might live with Him forever. He also sent the Holy Spirit so that we can live by His power and serve others like Jesus has served us. In this way, Jesus ministers both to us and through us.

How faithful are you in your ministry service to God?

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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