This week I’m with my Outlaw Preacher brethren in a collective gathering, tucked in the forests of Tennessee.
This is a retreat, a pilgrimage for many, and hopefully by the conclusion of the week we’ll have found an avenue of restoration once we part from one another and return to our respective corners of the continent.
One truth that I’ve come to believe is that ministry…in any capacity, is difficult. No shit, ministry is tough.
It’s in the methods we choose to love each other, it’s the way we defend and represent Jesus to others, it’s the way we counsel the broken, and how we edify or abuse those around us. It’s the late night phone calls of people in need of rescue, the exhaustion of “compassion fatigue”…wanting to be all things to all people and recognizing we aren’t superheroes and we don’t have all the answers.
It’s learning and accepting that even ministers fuck up and say the wrong words…that we are NOT exempt from fault.
I won’t deny that I’m weary…that the strain of ministry and lack of self-care and respite has brought me to my knees in frustration.
I suppose what allows us to press on is the unmistakable need to continue to love holistically…and that in our darkest hour of uncertainty, we know we are not alone.
In the room around me are pastors, volunteers, social activists, authors, bloggers, live-tweeters…and they are lovely, bad ass individuals who love more passionately, give more generously than most…and I’m rather grateful to travel alongside them.