Ministry is one word that is jam packed with so much depth. We hear, “never take ministry lightly” and so we do our “best” not to. The reality is that ministry is hard and staying faithful to God can be even harder. I know we don’t say that a lot but it’s the truth. Serving God is not always easy and I dare to say not always fun. You know, the whole battle between spirt and flesh? Sometimes we preach on the battle of Spirit and flesh but never really admit what that looks like in our life.
I can honestly say that “ministry” was something I was birthed into. On my father’s side of the family we probably have over 30 minsters. I was the kid that always had someone to tell me that Jesus loved me and that God had a plan for my life. Which sounds like a really blessed life and I wouldn’t say any different. I have been blessed with a loving and great family. It would be easy to say my life has been a walk in the park because of my upbringing but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. With a family of ministers comes a lot of expectations. Expectations to do well in school and go to college. Expectations to be a leader in your youth group. Expectations to carry the mantel of…… there’s that word again, Ministry. I’ll be honest I didn’t mind the idea of ministry. I was the little girl who would preach to her stuffed animals. My mom tells me that my stuffed pig must have been full of sin because I would bring him to the front of all my other stuffed animals and use my precious moment’s Bible to pray over him. Ministry was something that I saw and I aspired to be a part of. I remember at one point while in high school I thought I didn’t have a testimony because I never really “went through anything”. Man what I would give to be that high school girl again. But at the same time my story has only made me stronger. My scars are battle wounds that the Lord helped me fight through. By now you are probably starting to think what battles have you gone through? But I have been through some battles, some I didn’t sign up to fight and some where I was the one that pulled the pin out of the grenade and just stood there as I self-destructed. Ministry for the longest time seemed like it was for people who had it all together. Until I became a minister and saw more and more things fall apart around me and in me. If I have the freedom to be honest which I don’t really think I do, but I will be anyways; my biggest mistakes were made while I was a minister. My biggest temptations came when I was a minister. My hardest seasons in life were when I was a minister. My greatest sins were committed when I was a minister. With every hard time, with every temptation, with every sin, my greatest crime was thinking that I was still fine. Thinking I was still a “healthy minister”, suppressing my hurt and my bad choices. Part of me wanted to ask for help and part of me just didn’t feel safe to do that. Everyone goes to the minister for help but who does the minister go to? You can say God, and yes that’s true but I needed a sister or a brother I could turn to. Some of my thoughts were…… but I am the minister I shouldn’t be tempted by this; but I’m the minister I shouldn’t be sinning like this. What if they take away my position? How will I support myself financially? How will people look at me now? But they expect so much more from me. I had all these questions plus a lot more. In these questions and in these sins is where Grace greater than titles was birthed. I can’t be the only minister who has sinned. I can’t be the only minister who has fallen short. I can’t be the only minister who has asked these questions. Who do we run to when we need help? Where is our safe place? Ministry, pastoral self-care ministry is the goal of Grace greater than titles. I am dreaming and God is directing me but I thought a blog would be a good start. Maybe you are a minster and you read this and you can have a little sigh of relief to know that: Nope you aren’t the only one. Maybe you are the friend of the minister or family of the minister and you can read this and be reminded that the minister is human too. Just because we have a title in front of our name doesn’t mean we are perfect. We bleed just like you, we hurt just like you and we make mistakes just like you. My fellow brothers and sisters in ministry, know that you are not alone. Getting the right kind of help is better than acting like everything is ok until it isn’t. Often we never see that a pastor is human until there is a scandal in the church. What if we see that they are human before and remind them that Grace is greater than titles? Grace greater than titles stands to create a safe place for the minister. Where the first word you hear is not discipline but restoration. My dream is to see ministers be restored and with that have a safe place they can go to for that process. I can write and write but tomorrow is another day. With this blog you will hear from me, guest bloggers and anonymous bloggers so please stay tuned. Until then remember, Grace is greater than titles! -Krystal Baca