I’m a minister… get me out of here!

You know you were called to ministry, and more specifically to the ministry you are currently involved in, but how do you know when it’s time to move on? Is your current role a lifelong ministry or a temporary assignment? Are you jumping ship or moving into the next opportunity God has for you?

If you feel like you may have served your purpose, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions:

How is my relationship with God?

If you are close to God you can seek him for answers about your future, but if your relationship has drifted you may be looking for a get-out clause rather than divine confirmation. If a move isn’t in God’s will you will find yourself in a worse mess than you’re in now, so don’t judge by emotions. Take time out to seek him and to listen for answers. If it’s time to move on, pray for a new opportunity and, where appropriate, a replacement for you in your current role. If not, pray for the strength to carry on and for breakthrough in whatever situation you find yourself.

How do I feel about my current ministry?

Ministry isn’t always plain sailing, but God cares about your personal sense of fulfilment. Ask yourself how many of the following you agree with:

  • I enjoy my role and am proud to tell people about it
  • I am able to express my personality and talents through my ministry
  • People respect me because I’m good at what I do
  • I like the people I work with
  • I see work almost like a hobby because I enjoy it so much
  • My ministry brings out the best in me
  • I don’t have to pretend to be someone else in this role
  • Most of the time I look forward to going to work
  • After work I usually feel energised rather than burned out
  • What God is doing through me really matters

If you cannot agree with more than five of these it could be time to leave. Take time to think about why you feel the way you do and whether there is any way of turning it around.

How effective am I?

This can be a scary question, especially if you have been in ministry for many years. But if you feel that nothing has really improved over the past few years or that you are simply going through the motions, this could mean it’s time to go. If you no longer feel that you are carrying out God’s will it is definitely time to go.

Ask yourself what your motivation for leaving might be. Are you simply looking for greener pastures or has your once-thriving ministry become a dead work? You may have to weather some storms if you stay put, but if it’s the right thing to do, stay put. If you’re truly miserable and your role is taking its toll on your colleagues, church and family it’s probably a good idea to think about alternative employment. Remember to follow God’s lead rather than simply reacting to a bad day or week.

If you’ve decided to move on, check out our many ministry-related job vacancies here

Click here for more careers tips and advice

Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor regularly who contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk and find her on Twitter @joyous25

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