A few weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea to tear apart my screened-in porch. The screens needed to be replaced, so I thought I would just take them off, sweep things up a bit, and then put new screens back in. I was so wrong. after I removed the screens, I decided it would be a good time to add some additional framing to help protect it from birds and debris. And then, I thought it was a good opportunity to repaint the porch. But of course, if I was going to repaint, I needed to take time to strip off the pealing paint and sand down the wood so the paint would take better. All of this because I wanted to redo a few of the screens.
Yesterday, I spent five hours sanding and stripping the inside parts of the porch to be ready for the paint. It was a long and exhausting time. And then I spent another five hours painting, and only finished the inside of the porch. I now need another day to finish the outside before I get to the point of putting up new screens, new baseboards, a new door, and new decorative lattice.
What's the point of all of this? It certainly is not to convince you never to refinish your porch. I think the result will be worth it. The point is that as I was working all day yesterday, I began to see some obvious parallels to ministry. Here are some of the things I was thinking.
- There are no short-cuts to a faithful ministry.
- Ministry takes hard work.
- It is going to take longer than you think it will take.
- There are always going to be surprises in ministry.
- When you think you have it figured out, think again.
I could keep going. I think mostly though, I was struck with this one thought. It is really easy to begin a ministry thinking it will radically turn around in a few short months or years. But to build an effective ministry is going to take much longer than we think it is going to take. And this means, I need to be patient.
Why Do We Think Ministry Will Be An Easy Fix?