On the other hand, I've discovered that sometimes in ministry God puts us places for a season—many time to teach us something. Through the years, I've had the pleasure of serving with some amazing people in children's ministry. It was my whole world at one point in my life. Over time, God started to pull me in a different direction. Through children’s ministry, I discovered a passion for outreach, and it saturated my mind, heart, and free time. For a while I tried to do both ministries, but I was spread too thin and unable to give my all to either. I found myself less and less patient with the children, and I felt guilty. Did I fail? No. My season in children’s ministry was up, but God used it to reveal my passion for outreach. I didn’t fail—God was preparing me.
Sometimes God keeps us in particular ministries for a lifetime, and other times he moves us to different places, people, or venues. We should not see it as failure, but a continuation of God's plan for our lives. The apostle John verbally proclaimed the gospel for years until he was exiled to the island of Patmos. Ending up on an island might be seen as a failure, but it really wasn’t. It was there John received a revelation from God and wrote the book that encourages us that in the end our Lord Jesus Christ will triumph once and for all over evil, and we will reign with him.
While John's ministry changed, he was not a failure. He was used tremendously by God in another way. Likewise, we will face difficulty, obstacles, and may even appear to fail in ministry. The Lord has and will continue to have a great plan and purpose for our lives. We must continue to trust him and never ever lose heart.
Facing Difficult in Ministry
My friends, we can clearly be following God's plan for our lives and still face difficulty. In fact, James advises us to expect it: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:1–4).