Friday, April 9, 2010

Why It's Hard to be Popular in Ministry

One of the struggles that is faced by many husbands and wives in ministry is the question, “Do people like me?” or it might be “Are people going to hate me if I tell them the truth?”. Why is it that it’s so hard to be popular when you are in ministry. It’s not that I miss being popular because I was never one of the popular crowd, but I don’t want to feel like people are constantly mad. I want to at least feel like people like me most of the time.

It’s hard to keep your hopes in this arena when it’s your job and your ministry to tell people what the Bible says about how we should live, the lifestyle and friendship choices we should be making, and how we should be looking to God’s will for our lives before all else. People just don’t want to hear it. They come to church to get their ears tickled and to come away from the experience with a warm fuzzy feeling about God. What were you thinking that you would actually tell them something that steps on their toes!

Jimmy and I specialize in students. So some of the areas that we often find we are not too popular in are…


“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10


“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26


“I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.” Psalm 101:3


“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV

Just like adults, teenagers don’t like to be told that they might have been wrong or made a bad decision. Instead of stopping for a minute to listen and see what God has to say about the matter (I don’t expect them to just take my word for it!) they just get angry and decide that they don’t want to talk to you, spend time with you, or listen to you anymore. That’s why I find it exceedingly hard to be popular in ministry.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 & 14


  1. Thank you for your message. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking on a tight rope. Wanting to honor God's Word and trying to keep everyone happy. I care too much sometimes what everyone thinks. I am a people pleaser and so much of the time that isn't good. It's hard. Sometimes it's so hard and it makes me tired and makes me want to become a hermit. Not really on the hermit thing but there are days that you want to just escape or sleep away the day.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I totally feel your pain on this one. My two biggest frustrations with ministry are #1 It's unfair that everyone expects you to be perfect just because you are in ministry (even if they aren't) and #2 How much it hurts when you are trying to help people (especially people who have asked for your help) and then they are mean or jerky to you. But I guess that's life and God has a plan for all of it the good, the bad, and the unfair.