Groundhog Day Ministry

I’m reading Jared C. Wilson’s book The Pastor’s Justification, and so far it is wonderful. Currently I’m on a section covering the pastor’s heart–a place that most congregants wouldn’t want to see.

The following sentence confirmed what I already knew that I didn’t want to know: “But evangelicals have so effectively promoted the idol of success that it is rare to find a pastor who understands that starting over each day is ministry” (p.78).

Did you read that? If you’re a pastor you took a deep breath or your head tilted ever so slightly as if to say, “True.”

You prepare the sermon, sometimes cramming in that preparation because the rest of ministry and life has pushed it to the margins. But you prepare nonetheless. Sunday comes. You preach. Monday comes. There’s a sermon to prepare.

You counsel the person struggling with sin, the couple on the brink of calling it quits…just a few days later, they’re back in your office or on the phone. It’s like nothing changed.

You made 3 hospital visits the other day, but today there are 2 new people–and they don’t even go to your church. But they are dear to someone in your church, so you go.

Remember, though, “don’t drive angry.” shot_1290146047That classic line from the movie Groundhog Day is unforgettable. It would be easy to drive angry to the next meeting, counseling appointment, hospital visit, or to your sermon preparation place of choice.

But this is ministry.

It’s starting over.


May the God of all peace cover you with contentment and joy as we learn together what it means to pastor.

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