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Don't you dare say, "Welcome to Ministry!"

This year has been a trying one, to say the least. Between Jason's roles as Senior Pastor AND District NYI president, we have not been without critics--and some more blatantly than others. My husband and I have struggled with both blunt and passive aggressive attacks against us, our leadership, and our methods. We have been gossiped about, lied to, taken advantage of, and, quite frankly, abused. We are tired. We have been beat up, chewed up, and spit out more than once... and each time we have gotten back up---bruised and beaten, we have continued...but even as we have continued, we have been broken....

And all anyone can say to us is "Welcome to ministry."

Honestly, I HATE that phrase.

It is such a lazy attitude for anyone to say, but even more so for a pastor to say it--and we have had several pastors say it to us.

"Oh, you're struggling with 'saved and sanctified' people being total jerks? Well, welcome to ministry."

Believe me, I understand that ministry is no easy feat. Being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world is a difficult task. There is no doubt about that. Making disciples is hard work. I get that. But what I do not understand is that pastors can brush off the fact that church people can mistreat a pastor and their family by saying "welcome to ministry"--

Well, I have news for you who would say that.

Jesus COMMANDED those who follow him to be HOLY AS HE IS HOLY!

To excuse the church's abuse as being a part of ministry is to abandon the call of Holiness that God has placed upon the church. 

To laugh and shrug off the church's abuse as being a part of the ministry is to laugh at the great commission to make disciples--the commission to empower and embolden Christians to be like Christ.

PASTORS: We really need to stop using "welcome to ministry" when a fellow pastor comes to us to share their grief. Instead, we need to work on offering the encouragement, prayer, and support need for that pastor to continue fighting the good fight.

Instead of brushing off the mistreatment of our fellow ministry leaders as "part of ministry," we need to do as God's word tells us and "bear one another's burdens."

I understand that ministry is a struggle, and there is an adjustment period. But pastors, ministry leaders, church officials--please understand that a pastor being abused by the congregation is not God's design for ministry and we need to be trying to help our abused pastors instead of shrugging off their pain.

We really need to stop with this apathy regarding how our fellow pastors are treated in their ministry roles. A pastor being abused by people who claim to be sold out to Christ is not okay--and should not be the norm in ministry--and we should not be excusing it as part of the norm. We need to be proactive in changing that. Otherwise, all we are doing is minimizing abuse and passing it off as "God's work."

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