Monday, March 12, 2007

Why I Do Not Quit the Ministry

Why I Haven’t Quit the Ministry
Kevin Shrum

It’s Monday and the simultaneous feelings of depression and elation visit heavy upon me. It is the post-Sunday recount where every word is reviewed, every criticism is evaluated and every victory cherished. I ask myself, ‘Why is it I pastor?’

At first, the answers are hard to find. When I answered the call to ministry I didn’t sign up for the constant criticism doled our by half-committed church members; I didn’t sign up for making sure that I was in proper décor more than I was grounded in proper doctrine; I didn’t sign up for the petty concerns such as it’s too hot, too cold, too loud, too soft, too fast, too slow too… (fill in the blank). Further, I didn’t know that when I answered the call to ministry I would be required to be omnipresent (everywhere at all times for all people), omniscient (all-knowing even if not told), and omnipotent (able to change all things in a single decision).

It can be depressing to know that a large number of church members are more concerned about the creature comforts of the church than they are missions and ministry of the church. While it is detrimental to have a CEO mentality as a pastor, it is equally as dangerous for the church to have a ‘hired gun’ mentality toward their ministers.

So, why is it that I continue to pastor and preach?

· Because God called me.
· Because I love His church (the people) no matter how frustrated I may become with her.
· Because the church is God’s church; it is His problem.
· Because self-centered churches have always been a problem (i.e. Corinth).
· Because God is able to overcome my many weaknesses and sins.
· Because I love His Word – it will not return void.
· Because along the way you meet and get to know a few people who ‘get it.’

Ultimately, I do not quit the ministry because God has proven Himself faithful to His church, to me and my family, and, most importantly, to His Word. God uses messed up churches, inferior preachers and impossible means to demonstrate that He did it. This is why I do not quit.


Steve Weaver said...

Dr. Shrum,

I didn't realize you were blogging. Thanks for the thoughtful interaction with the issues facing the church today.

Armen said...

Absolutely excellent post brother!! Love it!

(probably because I am beginning to learn exactly what you have learned already).

Joel Maners said...

Great post. I hope it doesn't get you fired! Seriously though, I think that many problems stem from the idea that the church is "there for us" instead of the church being there to complete a mission or work of God in the world. When we lack that sense of mission, we turn on ourselves. Thanks again for writing.

Ray Van Neste said...

Good words Kevin!

Matthew R. Perry said...

I am starting a series of classes with some of our ministry students here at Boone's Creek. I will certainly be passing this wonderful post of yours along.