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hope for churches in stress

Staying Power

​Vocations today, ministry included, are complex and stress-filled. Many leave because of burnout or financial pressure. Others stay, but disengage emotionally in order to survive.

God has “called us to a holy calling . . . according to his own purpose and grace” (2 Tim. 1:9). In our appointed vocation, how can we build up “staying power”?

It is hard to imagine persisting in any vocation without the Helper (Jn. 14-16). As requisite preparation, we ask for and receive the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:11).

Like Jesus, we pray much. God speaks in his Word; we respond in prayer; and intimacy with our Father deepens in daily communication (Rom. 8:15-17).

We nurture close relationships: if single, kindred spirits; if married, our spouse; if parents, our children. A holy calling takes place in community (Eph. 5:25,29; 6:4).

For financial margin, we choose to live below our means—that is, we give generously, live simply, and trust in God’s provision (1 Tim. 6:6-8; Phil. 4:19).

Not forgetting the sine qua non of staying power, we align ourselves with the God-ordained pattern of alternating work and rest. We carve out Sabbath time each week (Ex. 20:8-11).

We surround ourselves with accountability. We honor supervisors, seek out mentors and coaches, and by cultivating mutual accountability learn from persons entrusted into our care. (Mk. 6:7).

Knowing that intimacy with Jesus deepens when we are desperate for him, we embrace challenges and adversity (Phil. 3:10).

By such practices we pursue our holy calling, even amid pressures, and find it to be fulfilling, fruitful, refining—and sustainable.

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