Ministry Surprises

Throughout my years of ministry, I have discovered a few things that surprised me about being a Pastor in the local Church.

  1. Some People Surprise Me. There are always a handful of people who will do almost anything for the Church. They serve happily in every area where help is needed. I have watched some people donate hundreds of hours to the cause of Christ without complaint or expectation of recognition.
  2. Attendance Surprises Me. Some people are here every week unless there is a tragedy. Others I am totally unable to predict. They show up for a month in the fall, then at our candlelight, then a couple of days in February, and other surprising times. I am unsure who I will speak to every week and if they will be back the following week.
  3. Behind the Scenes Activity Surprises Me. Inevitably I will talk to someone at Church doing great ministry that very few people know about. There have been people who provide meals for others, some holding Bible studies, others giving rides to people, holding prayer meetings, and dozens of other things that benefit the kingdom of God.
  4. Those Who Leave Surprise Me. Every year about 20% of a congregation disappears for one reason or another. Some people move, others change jobs, and their schedule interrupts Church; others find a different Church, and a few quit it altogether. The list of people who are no longer a part of the Church I lead is surprising. With very few of them, could I have predicted their departure.
  5. God Always Surprises Me. I am always amazed at how things work out with the Lord. Money comes at just the right time, the right person steps up to help in ministry, someone decides for Jesus, and a thousand other positive things happen all the time. God always does exceedingly more than I could ask or imagine, and he does it in his time and his way. Even after all this time, he has a way of surprising me with each new season.

These are some of the major things I was not expecting when I entered the ministry. Some of them made me smile, others made me cry, but all were a surprise.


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