1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
When I began pastoral ministry in 1990, I took over a small non-denominational church in a small rural community. We were not part of any larger organization and I did not adequately understand that by crossing from the pew to the pulpit, I would become isolated and separated.
The devil is like a roaring lion. He roars and then marks the ones who are isolated and separated from the herd. They are the weak and sick or the lost and confused as I was. When the attack came, I did not see it coming. I survived only by the grace of God and I bear the scars on my backside to this day. I was fortunate; I have many friends whose ministry did not survive their first brutal encounter with our adversary.
The result of the attack on my ministry was that I was deeply wounded and spiritually sick for years afterwards. By the time I realized I needed the fellowship, comfort and encouragement that other ministers had to offer—the church’s finances had dried up and I was bi-vocational. I no longer met with the group I was a part of because I couldn’t take the time off.
Twenty years after that first terrible attack, I am spiritually flourishing. I learned many things the hard way. I am adding my first staff member and while meeting with him, I realized that I would need to disciple him and prepare him for his ministry. I decided to write the principal lessons up so they benefit others also and post them so that anyone in need could find them.
I hope the lessons here are a benefit to you. You may also join the Pastors & Ministers Peer Support Group on Facebook for these posts and more.
This group is focused on edifying, encouraging and supporting the minister of God, those with the call of God on their life (and their spouses) by their fellow ministers. Whether you are just starting out, or have been in ministry for fifty years, a pastor of a small, established church, teaching in a local church or laboring for God in some mission or evangelistic endeavor, a children’s or youth minister–anyone pursuing a life of ministry, we encourage you to come and receive and/or contribute.
1 Corinthians 12:13,25-27 NKJV
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…that [we] should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.