Jump directly to the Content

Sometimes Ministry Stinks

How will you respond when you get stuck holding the bedpan?

It had been a hard year of ministry, and I was feeling discouraged. So I went to an older, wiser, veteran pastor to seek godly wisdom. This is what he told me: "If you get stuck holding the bedpan, carry it like a queen."

Bryant Kirkland had spent over fifty years as pastor to congregations of a variety of sizes and locations. When I was in seminary, he taught my preaching courses, and he continued to be my mentor till his quiet death on Easter a few years ago. I loved going to Bryant for counsel because he had such a gift for offering wisdom that was truly spiritual—precisely because it never sounded spiritual.

He reminded me of the way Jesus made a theological point by cursing fig trees, eating with sinners, or presenting over a hundred gallons of wine as a wedding present. Jesus would have certainly used Bryant's line about bedpans if they had been around in the first century.

When one of his daughters was born, Bryant was impressed by the quality of the nurses who cared for his wife ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

My Post-Pastoral Degree
My Post-Pastoral Degree
From the Magazine
How Scripture Keeps Surprising Me
How Scripture Keeps Surprising Me
As a child, I hid God’s Word in my heart. Now it sneaks out when I least expect it.
Editor's Pick
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
We have a unique opportunity to reset, pivot from old patterns, and look afresh at the future.