You long to see the Lord transform hearts, minds, and lives. It’s why you’ve dedicated your life to ministry. But instead of joyful participants, it’s getting harder to inspire action, recruit leaders, or even volunteers. At times, ministry feels more like marketing and congregations more like consumers. Instead of empowering people to be the hands and feet of Jesus, people are looking to you and your staff to do all of the work that is for the Body of Christ. You are weary.
It doesn’t feel good or right—because it isn’t.
Advent is a season of waiting, hoping, and wondering. The Church awaits a fresh anointing—a powerful touch that awakens souls and transforms the Body of Christ into a growing, giving, generous people wherein the numbers are added to daily.
The Christmas story contains a pattern that shows the journey of transformative faith. This pattern applies to Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the shepherds… to every person who encounters the living God.
Waiting to the point of weariness
When Jesus was born, Herod, a power-hungry, narcissistic leader, was oppressing the people. There was a huge wage gap with a major majority of people living in poverty. Slavery and human trafficking was a cultural norm. The Jews clung to scripture as a life line as mythology and philosophy denied the God that they knew was real and true.
There is so much to relate to today. Politics. War. Oppression. Wage gaps. Racism. Human trafficking. And in the midst of it all, people of faith are clinging to scripture for comfort. As they should… until comfort is all that’s wanted.
Until the people of God are so comforted that movements of God aren’t wanted, sought after, or recognized.
If you are feeling weary, you are not alone. The big things going on in the world are heavy burdens that add onto very real, just-as-big burdens that people are carrying in their personal lives. The world is weary and waiting.
3 Ways to Connect with a Weary World
Waiting is hard. It’s real work to maintain faith and trust—to remain steadfast in the chaos of the world. As a pastor there are some things you can do—for yourself and for others.
1. Cultivate Empathy
Pastor, I know how you carry burdens of your own and the burdens of others. Boundaries are an important and hot topic for a reason. But not at the expense of empathy. Empathy binds us to our own humanity and to the humanity in others. Listen well to the people around you. Meet them where they are at. Join them in carrying their burdens to the Lord in prayer.
2. Embrace Grace
With all the trouble in the world the added expectation surrounding the holidays means an increase in stress across the board. People are more easily offended—and defensive—when they are stressed. Keeping an attitude of grace towards yourself and others is a road to peace and connection.
3. Build Hope
Visioncasting is so powerful. In the Christmas story, God beautifully casts vision that builds hope in a weary world. The arrival of Christ is a promise of better days ahead. A promise that breaks through the weariness of stress and depression with a thrill of hope.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”
Armed with empathy and grace, what do you and the people in your community need to build hope? In what ways does the Christmas story speak to that need? How can you cast vision that offers a glimpse of better days ahead? What can you and your community do to help build that vision during this season?
The Discipleship Difference- You have a dialed in ministry flow—but you still aren’t seeing transformation. The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.