Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frustrations in MInistry

My greatest frustration these days in ministry is something different from any other frustration that I have had over the years. Ministry is a tough thing sometimes. It’s hard to see any real accomplishments sometimes. You plant seeds and someone else harvests. Or, you pour yourself into someone or someones only to see little result. All who do ministry do so in faith that God will bring about his will in it all. And, in spite of the frustrations it is entirely worth it to be a servant of Jesus Christ.

Nowadays, my frustration is different. Bethel is a wonderful church that is set right in the middle of town and the surrounding area is becoming more and more urbanized. The church is located in a strategic place. It’s easy to find; it sits on a hill and proclaims the Gospel just by the presence of its huge buildings. A friend’s daughter calls Bethel “church on sterroids”. My frustration these days comes from the human traffic that comes here every day looking for help.

We have a Fellowship of Suffering and every once in a while some persons give us monies to be used to help people. So, we do as much as we can, judging if the need is legitimate.

My friend Michael was by here again today. I met Michael several years ago. We were working around the church on Saturday when Michael showed up. He’s a big ole guy. He asked to talk to me. We sat in my office and I listened as he cried. We prayed and I did a little bit to help. Michael takes care of his special needs wife. So far as I can tell he works as much as he can find work, but sometimes he gets behind and he’ll call and come by. I helped him a little today and prayed for him.

My frustration is that we can help everybody. There’s not enough money in the world to help everybody. My associate and I help people until we’re out of money. People keep coming by with needs but we have to tell them that we’re out for now.

I got a call today from a young woman who lives in Pacolet. She has three small children and works at Huddle House for $2.82 an hour. Her husband left her and won’t pay child support. Courts threaten him; he just goes his way. My heart breaks for a family like this.

I know in my head that I can’t do everything for everybody. We can’t even do a little for everybody. We do what we can. We do the best that we can.

Well, I’m grateful to people who give to the Fellowship of Suffering so that we can help some. It is a real blessing to be able to assist people in need.

With the economy being so bad right now, it’s not likely to get better for a while. God has put us right here, right now, to be a blessing to the world around us. My prayer is that we are doing all we can to do God’s will here.

I am so proud to be a part of a great church. I am so glad that when people can’t find hope anywhere else they can always find hope at church and in the followers of Jesus Christ. I’ll get over my frustration; I can’t get over being a follower of Jesus.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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