You spend extra hours preparing a particular sermon. But no one notices.

You make six visits to a parishioner in intensive care. When he recovers and returns to church, he points out how much his wife wished you'd seen her while he was in the hospital.

A woman in worship stands during prayer requests and notes, with just a touch of hurt, that her Aunt Lizzie's name isn't printed in the prayer list. Of course, this woman doesn't mention publicly-or privately-that you recently took most of a day to drive out of town to visit Aunt Lizzie.

Such experiences are not unique, nor is the pastor's resulting discouragement. It hurts when people don't notice or appreciate our efforts. Ministerial banter often touches on blue Mondays and the resignation letters we mentally compose. Discouragement is no stranger to ministers.

What discouraged ministry looks like

How we deal with discouragement impacts both the minister and the church. It can prompt some ministers to leave their churches. It can lead others ...

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