Jump directly to the Content

How to Minister Without Applause

God is gracious. Can I be content with that?
How to Minister Without Applause
Image: shironosov

After serving thirteen years in the youth ministry at Grace Chapel, I became minister of missions. As my youth ministry ended, I thought, Now the letters of affirmation will pour in.

The students and youth staff put on a wonderful appreciation night and gave my wife and me a generous gift. Then it was over. During the next three months, two notes poured in. I relearned the lesson that my desire for public affirmation will always exceed the supply.

If I asked people at my church, "Do you love me?" they would give me a Fiddler-on-the-Roof response: "For all these years we've tolerated your jokes, paid you a salary, approved your budgets, given you an office, watched you grow up — what do you mean, 'Do you love me?' "

I know the people at Grace Chapel love me — like a family. And like a family they don't express it as often as I would like. Like many associate staff and long-term senior pastors, I sometimes feel like a plumbing fixture — ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

The Small-Group Leader as Spiritual Guide
The Small-Group Leader as Spiritual Guide
A step-by-step approach to guiding your group toward spiritual maturity
From the Magazine
Blessed Are the Thrifty?
Blessed Are the Thrifty?
Jesus’ teachings challenge how we spend when money is tight.
Editor's Pick
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Learning to walk under the weight of ministry's many hats.