Restarts in Ministry

God Gives What We Need for Restarts in Ministry

Often when we’re stuck or sluggish in our ministries, we need a restart. — “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead …” (Phil. 3:13)

God gives us the wisdom, power, and grace we need to get beyond where we are to start anew.

Examples of Restarts in Ministry

Feeling unfulfilled in ministry? Perhaps you need to re-examine if you’re using the spiritual gifts God has given you. You may need to push the restart button to serve in ways that better fit His intent for you.

In a rut? If ministry has become a bit lackluster, you may need to push the restart button to refocus and rediscover the joy of serving.

  • Understand God’s desire for you: Ps. 40:1-3; Isa. 40:30-31; Rom. 12:11; 1 Cor. 10:12-13; Rev. 2:3-5
  • Trust in the Lord for renewed strength to break out of your rut and soar again with a new song in your heart.
  • Seek God’s grace to not give in to the temptation to stay where you are.
  • For More:

Struggling with feeling insignificant in a behind-the-scenes ministry? You may need to push the restart button for an attitude adjustment.

No matter the issue, God has the wisdom, power, and grace you need for a restart. He truly is a God of new beginnings so “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Bible Verses for Ministry Perseverance

Bible Verses for Ministry PerseverancePreviously we looked at how it is possible to persevere in ministry if we’re pulling on the right source to sustain and strengthen us.

If you’re struggling to persevere, take time to reflect on the following promises. Consider memorizing at least one verse that seems to most encourage you so you are able to recall it during moments of distress or discouragement.

Scripture Promises Related to Persevering:

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Heb. 10:36)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)

… he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (2 Pet. 1:4-7)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb. 12:1-3)

Bible Verses about God sustaining us, making ministry perseverance possible:

You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. (Ps. 18:35)

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. (Ps. 54:4)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Ps. 55:22)

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. (Ps. 119:116)

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isa. 46:4)

Bible Verses about God strengthening us, enabling us to persevere in ministry.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn. 15:4-5)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:12-13)

Ministry Perseverance: Why It’s Needed

Ministry Perseverance Needed Due to Ministry Troubles

We’ve already looked at how ministry perseverance is the staying power to keep serving with patient endurance no matter what difficulties we face. We have so many things that can come against us in ministry that could bring discouragement, frustration, fear, stress, or a general sense of being overwhelmed.

We might express these feelings through bad attitudes. We might want to quit. When that happens, ministry loses its effectiveness as we’re no longer doing ministry God’s way.

Ministry Troubles Needing Ministry Perseverance

Because our settings vary, as well as the people we serve, we can’t begin to provide an exhaustive list of troubles we might face in ministry. What feels like a hardship to one person might seem insignificant to the next because of our different personalities, giftedness, backgrounds, training, and so forth.

Here are some common problems we might face along with some help with those specific issues. There are, however, some broad perspectives we need in any and all situations that will help us persevere. Read: How to Persevere

Circumstances don’t always line up with our expectations and can cause us to re-examine our commitment. To keep going, we need to find our joy and hope in that which is greater than our circumstances. (Rom. 8:35-37; Phil. 4:12-13)

Conflict with people we serve, or maybe even fellow-servants, sometimes threatens our well-being, causing us to look at ministry through our hurts or anger. To hang in there despite these relational struggles we need to look to God for the grace, humility, and peace we so desperately need. (Rom. 14:19; 15:5-6; Phil. 2:1-4)

Lacking the resources we’d like, or feel we need, to effectively do ministry can bring frustration. If we’re not going to give in to discouragement, we need to trust that God is able work to bring eternal good from the little we have. (Matt. 14:16-21; Eph. 3:20-21)

Needy people can be draining, zapping us of energy. To have more to give, we need to learn to keep looking to God to meet our needs and set God-given boundaries in our lives. (Phil. 4:13, 19; Eph. 4:15; Gal. 6:7-10)

Resistance or criticism from others can cause us to despair, feeling like we can’t get anywhere or accomplish much of anything. We could simply throw our hands up, thinking what’s the use, if we don’t believe God can work all things for the good. (Ps. 27:13-14; Rom. 8:28)

Spiritual warfare can be real, as our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” To avoid being one of Satan’s ministry casualties, we must continually submit ourselves to the Lord, finding strength for the battle in Him. (Eph. 6:10-17; 1 Pet. 5:6-11)

Time constraints and the busyness of life can weigh us down skewing our sense of priorities. To persevere, we need God’s perspective and power. (Matt. 6:33-34; Eph. 5:15-16)

Unfair or abusive treatment shouldn’t happen in the church but sometimes it does. To keep from letting it pull us down, we need to remember that we are personally accountable to God for what we do and trust Him to bring the vindication. (Ps. 35:24-28; Eph. 6:7-9)

Ministry Perseverance: How to Persevere

So much can come against us as we serve the Lord. How are we supposed to persevere? To be sure, some people will outwardly keep going by sheer will, perhaps feeling too guilty or ashamed to quit. But, inwardly they’ve given in to the frustration and despair. God, however, wants so much more for us as His servants. He instructs us, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:11-12).

To Persevere in Serving We Need the Right Source to Sustain and Strengthen Us

Ministry Perseverance Comes When We Look to God
(Click to enlarge image in Pinterest & repin.)

Only an eternal, omnipresent God will always be there. Only a great and almighty God will be strong enough to uphold and deliver us. Only a faithful God will stay true to us, even when we’re faithless (2 Tim. 2:13). Only a holy God can be trusted to be right all the time. Only a sovereign, omniscient God can give us the perspective we need.

We can look at Moses of the Old Testament for an example. God called him to lead an impatient and stubborn group of people through the harsh conditions of a wilderness journey. Though wanting to give up on numerous occasions, we read that “he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27). This is the kind of faith we need to persevere, not one that looks only at what we can see but one that focuses on our invisible yet very powerful and compassionate God.

Finding Ministry Perseverance in God

If we’re going to persevere, we must look to God for what we need — perspective, peace, encouragement, big picture, joy. Only when we let go and let God provide what we need, will we truly persevere, not just outwardly but inwardly as well.

  1. We must release our own expectations and look to God for the perspective we need.
  1. We must relinquish our need to strive to persevere and pull on the means God put in place to encourage us.
  1. We must refuse to cave in to our own narrow-minded views and focus on God’s big picture.
  1. We must reject our own illusion of a right to happiness and accept God’s offer of true joy that’s not based on circumstances or other people.

Ministry Perseverance: What It Is

When we start talking about the need to persevere in ministry, it implies something isn’t quite going right. Let’s be honest, we tend to want God to make ministry easy, convenient, comfortable, and problem-free. Yet, God never promised perfect circumstances.
Troubles in This World - Need for Ministry Perseverance

Jesus told us to expect problems in this world (Jn. 16:33). In an upcoming post we’ll look at some of the troubles we can expect in ministry. (Subscribe to be notified of new posts.) To be overcomers in ministry, we need to learn to persevere.

Ministry Perseverance is Staying Power

The word for perseverance in the New Testament Greek, hypomone, comes from the word “hupo” meaning under, and “meno” meaning to abide or remain. So, the literal definition of perseverance is remaining under. That’s staying power — patient endurance and steadfastness.

In short, ministry perseverance deals with being sustained and strengthened to keep serving no matter what we face or how we feel.

The Apostle Paul faced situations most of us will never come close to experiencing as we serve the Lord. (You can read the list of hardships at: 2 Cor. 11:23-28) How easy it could have been for him to give up, yet He didn’t. Here’s how He was able to persevere:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:12-13)

He found God’s grace to be sufficient in His weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

Ministry Perseverance Is More Than Just Surviving

Persevering isn’t the end goal. God intends for much more to follow perseverance as James reminds us to “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

Perseverance builds character (Rom. 5:3-4) such as godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Pet. 1:5-7).

Perseverance generates hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)

Perseverance comes with blessings and reward. (James 1:12; 5:11)

If we don’t persevere, we short-circuit God’s long-range plan. — “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb. 10:36)

When we view the hardships and difficulties in ministry through this lens, we see that perseverance isn’t just about hanging in there and surviving but rather thriving.

What’s at the Root?

Ministry doesn’t always go as expected. Parenting doesn’t always produce the results you hoped for. Relationships don’t always go smoothly.

Rather than giving up or despairing, see if you can get to the root of what went wrong. Sometimes we merely deal in symptoms rather than the real issue. Then we wonder why lasting change doesn’t come. We may be applying the wrong solutions because we are staying on the surface. Take time to ask, “What’s at the Root?”

Ask What's at the Root of Problems

Examples of Getting to the Root Issue

These examples will not cover everything you might face. And, the root cause in these various situations could be different in your case.

  • A ministry event or class didn’t go well.

Surface: It was a bad idea so I won’t do that again.
Root: Perhaps you didn’t invest sufficient time into planning and/or praying.
Solution: Learn to set priorities, to better manage your time, and be prepared. Always pray.
Resource: Time Management for Teachers Worksheet

  • People are getting disillusioned with serving in the Church.

Surface: They don’t love the Lord as they should so we’ll teach/preach more to build their faith and love.
Root: Maybe people aren’t doing what lines up with their spiritual gifting, passions, and personality.
Solution: Help people find their best fit in ministry.
Resource: Finding Your Best Fit in Ministry Book

  • Children don’t sit still and pay attention to the Bible lesson.

Surface: Kids are so disrespectful today so I will have to discipline them more.
Root: Possibly you aren’t teaching in accordance with their age level developmental need for activity.
Solution: Use more hands-on Bible learning activities.
Resource: Age Level Teacher Training Resources

  • God doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers.

Surface: God doesn’t care so it doesn’t matter if I pray.
Root: Maybe you aren’t praying in keeping with God’s character or will.
Solution: Learn more about God and His Word.
Article: Power in Prayer as We Adhere to Biblical Principles on Praying

  • Some people in your church who claim to be Christians aren’t safe to around.

Surface: They don’t belong here so we’ll be more protective until they leave.
Root: Perhaps people haven’t been discipled as they should.
Solution: Follow the Great Commission to its fullest extent which takes people beyond getting saved to spiritually growing and obeying Him as Lord of their lives.
Article: Safety Because of the Great Commission

  • People are so busy and it’s affecting recruitment and the fulfillment of Body Life as God designed it.

Surface: People aren’t putting God first so we’ll teach/preach more about prioritizing God and His will.
Root: Possibly they don’t have good role models of how to live in ways that prioritize what’s most important.
Solution: Begin with yourself and your church to control your schedule so it is more purposeful and considerate.
Articles: Purposeful Scheduling  and  Considerate Scheduling

Your child keeps falling back into the same bad behavior even though you keep disciplining.

Surface: I’m not being hard enough on him/her so I’ll enforce stricter consequences.
Root: Maybe the child is harboring resentment, hurts, or anger.
Solution: Focus on the heart, not just the behavior.
Resource: Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual with 8 Audio Sessions (Clicking on this link will take you to one of our affiliate stores.)

Whatever the circumstance, ask God to get you beyond the surface to the root cause. Continue to pray about it to determine the best course of action based on the real issue. Look for resources that can help you learn and grow in this area.