This topic is adapted from The Gospel Coalition YouTube channel.

Ministry is one of the most challenging fields of work, and seeking wisdom and counsel from those who have gone before is an important part of learning to serve faithfully in the churches and ministries to which God has called us.

Video Highlights

  • Satan seeks to bring pastors and church leaders to places of discouragement. He uses sin and unmet expectations, among other things, to do this.
  • God often uses the longevity of faithful service to prepare and use us to build his kingdom. It is rare that a young pastor will meet immediate, world-changing success.
  • Pulpit ministry exacerbates the idols of the approval of men and of the flesh. Ministry is a challenging place for those who struggle with the idol of success.
  • People are not always what they appear to be, both in the positive and in the negative. God gets things done with people you wouldn’t expect, and he doesn’t use people who seem like natural leaders and servants.

Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.

[Related Category: Pastoring]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Are there any unmet expectations that have caused you to be discouraged in your ministry? Explain.
  4. Do you think the pattern of faithful ministry is related to being rooted in one place for the long haul? Explain.
  5. Paul had a faithful, lifelong ministry as an apostle, yet he traveled all over the Roman world and was typically not in one place for more than a few years at a time. Is this truth relevant to the discussion in question four above? Explain.
  6. “Never aspire to teach the church at large. Pastor your congregation.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.
  7. How has God surprised you in your ministry?
  8. If you had to give one piece of advice to a new pastor or Christian worker, what would it be?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.