(I originally wrote this on October 27, 2014, but I just haven’t put it up here yet)
Some say that ministry is a lonely road, and they’re right. One of the things they don’t bother to tell you while you’re in college, especially in ministry prep courses, is just how lonely the road can be after graduation. A lot of recent college graduates I’ve talked to have said the same thing. They just didn’t know how hard and lonely it would be!
Think about it: The push in college is not only to get your degree so that you can get that dream job, but to invest in wonderful, life-long friends. But guess what? When graduation day comes, the friends usually disperse all over as the Lord calls them separate ways. Sure, we remain friends, albeit from a distance, but what do we do when we find ourselves in a completely new place with no friends and no connections? Who do we connect with? Who do we befriend?
Those who walk into ministry as singles face this in an especially potent way. As the Lord calls us to new territory where we know no one, we can face deep loneliness. Often times, we don’t have the opportunity to go serve with our best friend or with our closest loved ones. (Maybe it’s just me, but I think that this applies to others too. If you agree, can I get a shout out down below?) Granted, the role of the single adult in the Church and the Kingdom of God are important and vital. It is a key calling, but it is a hard and lonely one.
Yet despite the loneliness that can come with the calling to ministry, God is always present and always with us. Even when the loneliness is overwhelming, He IS there! We are given an opportunity to press into Him in a unique ways and to depend on Him more fully. The challenge is will we take the opportunity and actually do it?
Here’s the other thing: even though ministry and being a vocational minister is a lonely road, we’re not meant to walk it alone. I challenge those of you in ministry to reach out to someone in your church or area whom you can befriend. Share life with them and together seek the Lord encouraging one another in the ministry and in the Lord. We are not meant to live or minister alone. And though we may feel lonely, we are not alone!