Ministry can feel like a major bummer sometimes. You’re unloved, unappreciated, and underpaid. It’s easy to lose motivation and go into a pastoral tailspin. So, how do you get motivated? If you’re hoping to get your motivation from a triple espresso, a pep talk, or a funny YouTube clip from Tim Hawkins, you’re going to be disappointed. True motivation doesn’t come from comedians or coffee. So, where does true motivation come from? Where do you find the moxie to bust out your Bible and drum up some sermons?
10 Ways To Get Motivated For Ministry
When it comes down to it, ministry motivation isn’t about finding some way to drum up personal drive and excitement. Ministry motivation can only come from God.
- Pray over it. I mean, really pray—talk to God about your lack of motivation. Tell God that your tank is empty. Tell Him that you’re at the bottom. Although you may be looking for strength, power, and energy, remember that “when you are weak, then you are strong. It’s not about your personal drive and motivation. It’s about God’s grace working in you (2 Corinthians 12:10).
- Meditate on the gospel. The Good News of Jesus Christ and salvation is the cornerstone to everything that we do. Take some time to let this refreshing truth sink into your soul. Remember, the gospel isn’t just for unbelievers. It’s for believers, too.
- Talk with a trusted ministry friend. Often, God uses our human friendships to restore some sensibility and refreshment into our spirits. If you don’t have a friend, pray for one. If you have a friend, talk to that friend about more than NFL.
- Take a sabbatical. You are not invincible. You are not above the need to take a break. Regardless of how tough you think you may be, you may just need a little recess. Taking a break is better than a burnout, so please discuss this possibility with your church. You’ll return from your sabbatical with greater motivation.
- Attend a pastor’s conference. I’ve discovered that attending a ministry conference is a great way to ignite the fire and gain encouragement. Being preached to, rubbing shoulders with others in ministry, and attending focused workshops will boost your ministry enthusiasm level.
- Study the life of the Apostle Paul. If anyone had some tough days in ministry, it was Paul. (When was the last time you were stoned?) Bible characters, humans like us, are a great source of motivation. For that matter, study the life of Nehemiah, who faced bitter disillusionment and burnout. Read up on Moses, who had the audacity to whine to God about his calling. Open up to the book of Jeremiah, and hear the weeping prophet start his ministry out with tearful timidity. Find out how the thundering prophet Isaiah had no ability in himself to say anything worthwhile. Learn how blustering Peter was taken from his status as a swearing sailor, to the leader of the first Christian church. The motivation you need is right before you—in God’s holy Word, in the people God used for ministry.
- Invest time and energy into mentoring others for ministry. Ministry is not all about you. It’s about God working in your to minister to others. Find someone in your ministry whom you can invest in, someone whom you can mentor. As you disciple this person, you’ll find that the edification flows both ways.
- Read a book. I know, it’s hard to find time to read. (Get eight tips on finding more time to read.) It could be the best thing you’ve done in a long time, though. Find a good book on ministry, or a biography about a pastor, or missionary. It will encourage and motivate you.
- Worship. Worship is not just something that takes place on Sunday morning. It is an activity that ought to consume one’s entire life (Romans 12:1). Perhaps you need to spend some personal time in worship, adoring, praising, and glorifying your God.
- Meditate on the character of God. Remember Whom you are serving. God, his glory and magnification, is the sole end of life and ministry. If you’ve lost your ministry motivation, you need to go to God and rest in His glorious character. You are serving God (Col. 3:24). Ministry is not a performance for people, nor a popularity contest. Ministry is about service to God. Open your Bible, God’s revelation of Himself to you, and find the encouragement you’ve been missing.