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Loving and Hating Ministry

Our office … subjects us to great burdens and labors, dangers and temptations, with little reward or gratitude from the world. But Christ himself will be our reward if we labor faithfully.
Martin Luther
The Christian ministry is the worst of all trades, but the best of all professions.
John Newton

A thousand stories start with the good news/bad news line. One reason these are so common is that they match life. Let's face it, life seldom comes up all roses.

One of my favorite comic strips has Charlie Brown telling Lucy the universal axiom, "Life has its ups and downs." Lucy is seen screaming in the last box, "I don't want downs. I want ups, ups, and more ups." This sounds a lot like Christian TV show testimonies — "and they came to Jesus and they all lived happily ever after." Unfortunately, life in the ministry isn't like that. It's a mixed bag, pleasure mingled with pain.

Like the holy/human tension, the love/hate relationship most ministers have with ministry is another tension that deserves ...

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