Realistic Expectations in Ministry

We tend to go into ministry with expectations but are they realistic expectations? Jesus sought to help His disciples gain the right perspective. He told them of pending trouble as they served Him and then said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).

Ministry will not be problem-free. If we set our expectations too high, expecting that everything will run smoothly and that everyone will accept and agree with us, then we are in for some surprises that might disillusion or discourage us, even cause us to quit.

Ministry will not be filled with nothing but insurmountable problems. Going into ministry with too low of expectations can lead to half-hearted efforts.

Ministry will have both ups and downs but we can make it through and even thrive regardless of the circumstances. Such realistic expectations are based on two words Jesus spoke in John 16:33 — “in me” — because He is the Overcomer!

Why Maintaining Realistic Expectations is Important:

  • Realistic expectations are essential to our peace.
  • Realistic expectations are essential to wading through troubles that can come in ministry.
  • Realistic expectations have effects on our level of commitment
  • Realistic expectations have effects on how we view and treat those we serve.

If we maintain realistic expectations, we will be able to diligently serve even with joy in our hearts regardless of the circumstances.

Realistic Expectations are Not an Excuse for Lack of Faith:

Jesus is the one who suggested that we have realistic expectations when He said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  We cannot, however, stop there because Jesus continued, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” With God all things are possible.

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