In recent days, weeks, months, I’ve found myself weary in the work. Oh, I love my job, or more appropriately said, I love my calling. When I truly stop to think about my work, I stand amazed that God would allow me to be paid for shepherding His flock. That’s really what my job is—I shepherd women—what a sacred privilege.
In our current culture, however, I’ve been trying to determine what ministering to women really means, what it looks like. When I began ministry 18 years ago, ministering looked different. Large events were the “best” way to equip and encourage. Planning and executing were paramount. Programs with positive results made impact. But now shepherding has shifted. For the most part, the method is no longer the “big event.” The end goal is still the same—to encourage, equip, and walk along side—but the methods have shifted, and the Lord continues to sift and shape me in the process, making me uncomfortable, discontent, discouraged, and weary at times.
So today I chose to sit back, opened my Bible, pray, and ask God for the solution.
How do I make the shift, Lord?
How do I adapt?
Lord, give me the “want to” in this new space.
After nearly two decades of ministry, change doesn’t come easy, after all. Yet change must come if I am to exchange my weary and be effective for God’s Kingdom. I desire to be impactful, honoring God by encouraging and equipping women.
I’ve wondered if this is what burnout looks like, but I’m not convinced burnout is the culprit. No, I think it’s lack of clarity, uncertainty, and direction.
As truth begins peeking through the horizon and the clouds clear, I realize that some of my weariness stems from my desire to fully know and understand this new pattern for ministry. Who enjoys change? But wrestling with the change from what makes me comfortable unlocks some of the weariness trapped in the depths of my fearful heart.
1 Peter 5:2-5 says,
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
“Shepherd the flock God has given me.” I think that means whether there is one in my flock or 1000, I shepherd—one-on-one, small groups, large groups. In whatever platform I take, I need to faithfully shepherd. And what does that look like? I need to share God’s Word, offer love and encouragement, pray for others, and point them to Jesus. He does the rest.
1 Peter 5:6-9 says,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
In these verses I see imperatives to apply in the weary times:
- Be Humble.
- Seek God.
- Trust rather than worry.
- Stay alert and avoid the threat of the enemy.
- Stand firm—you’re not alone.
- Embrace the time of transition—it’s normal.
- Remember Kingdom impact is for good.
See these lesson imperatives? These are practical things to implement during times of doubt and discouragement. Then you can rest on this assurance from the Lord.
Verse 10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
I see the faithfulness of God in this verse—His faithfulness to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish. What encouragement that brings.
What about you, friend? Are you weary in the work? Is change on the horizon? Are you fearful? Do you dread the change? Are you discouraged by the unknown?
Don’t look down. Look up. Worship in the weary. That weary place is just a space—a space of growth, development, cultivation, and refinement. The pathway to God’s next place of progress may just begin in that weary space. So, as you press, remember the God of all grace has called you to this very place.