Managing High’s and Lows of Ministry

A blog by Herbert Cooper. Reposting this. A must read for Pastors

One of the toughest things about ministry is successfully managing the highs and lows. I can’t say that I’ve mastered this. Sometimes I do really well, and at times I do a horrible job. Here are some examples of the highs and lows of ministry that must be managed correctly.

1. One Sunday you are on an emotional high because attendance is strong, and the next Sunday you are battling depression because the attendance was low.

2. One month people love the church and are excited about the vision, and the next month the same people leave the church disgruntled.

3. In one season of ministry, you have incredible momentum, and in the next season, you can’t find or create momentum no matter how hard you pray and work. You don’t even know why you lost it, but you do know you don’t have it.

4. One month the offerings are strong, and the next month they are weak.

5. You feel incredible because you feel like you preached a great message one weekend, and you feel like a loser two weeks later because you feel like you bombed the message.

6. In one season of ministry, you are exhilarated because you have the right team or staff around you. In the next season of ministry, you are deflated because you have the wrong people around you, or you have the right people in the wrong places.

7. One month you are excited because you’ve got things figured out, and six months later, you are mentally drained because now you don’t have a clue.

I really believe that for a minister to be healthy over the long haul, they have to learn to manage the highs and lows successfully. One of the keys for me is I try extremely hard not to let the highs get too high and the lows get too low. I try to stay in the middle as much as possible. I’ve learned that most of the time, things aren’t as bad as you think they are nor are they as good as you think they are. I want to encourage you, my ministry friend, to stay even-keeled and not ride the roller coaster of the extreme highs and lows of ministry. The roller coaster ride of ministry can cause you to crash and burn.