Maintaining Joy in Ministry: The Necessity of Vertical Fulfillment and Healthy Horizontal Awareness
Through his Word, God fills the human heart with a joy that is unlike anything this world has to offer. The pastor, in his calling, is immeasurably blessed to be able to spend the majority of his days reading God’s Word and sharing it with people. The conclusion could be made, then, that pastors are the most joyful people in the world. But this is not always the case. Many pastors struggle to maintain joy in their ministry and are left wondering what is so wrong and why they cannot seem to find the joy they once had in their calling. How can a pastor maintain or regain joy in his ministry? While this is a multifaceted topic for which volumes could be written, this paper addresses the spiritual side of a pastor’s lost joy. It explores what biblical joy is and the dangers of losing it through academizing of the Word of God. Finally, in a theological and practical manner, the paper explores how to regain or maintain joy in ministry through vertical, Christ-given fulfillment accompanied by a horizontal awareness of the role a pastor has for his people and vice-versa.