4 Warning Signs for Ministry Failure
Don’t let your ministry be derailed by moral failure. Pay attention to these warning signs.
I heard some very helpful advice once from Evangelist Pat Schatzline in one of his Youth Leader sessions. He shared an acrostic that if we would use it could really help us to avoid trouble. It’s the acrostic H.A.L.T. It stands for Hurting, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are four warning signs that you need to stop and pay attention because you very well might be in danger of making a mistake:
1. HURTING: Sadly, it’s extremely easy to get hurt in ministry. I have been hurt more times than I care to admit. One thing that I learned very quickly early on in my ministry was that people will hurt you. It’s amazed me over the years the things that people will do and say to a pastor these days; people will literally say anything to you without hesitation, even in the church. Thick skin is absolutely critical to have as a man or woman of God. But when you’ve been hurt, know that you might be in danger.
2. ANGRY: Unchecked anger gives the Devil a major foothold in your life. This is why the Bible encourages us to NOT go to bed angry, because anger that is left unchecked festers in our hearts and begins to grow. There are things that you will DO and SAY when you’re angry that you would never do or say otherwise. It’s especially important for us who preach and teach God’s word to deal with our anger before we get up and minster before the people, because that anger will come out in our preaching.
3. LONELY: Being alone and being lonely are two very different things. Being alone can be a very good and very refreshing thing. Sometimes we just need some “me time.” But loneliness can be dangerous, because when you feel lonely you feel like no one is there for you, like no one cares, like no one sees where you are. Loneliness can open the door for compromise very easily if we’re not careful. Of course, we know that God is there and that according to His word, He will never leave us nor forsake us. We need to run to our Heavenly Father when we begin to feel loneliness consuming our hearts.
4. TIRED: Jesus encouraged us to come to Him when we feel tired or weary and He would give us rest (Matt. 11:28). When you’re tired, it hinders your judgement because you’re not thinking clearly. If you’re tired, go to sleep, take a nap, be sure that you’re getting adequate amounts of sleep each night. The Bible tells us that God gives his beloved “rest.” Sometimes one of the most spiritual things a man or woman of God can do is sleep!
So I hope these help someone out there; be on guard always! Remember that the Bible says that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour. Get into the habit of using this acrostic to keep yourself out of danger. H.A.L.T.!
A great book to read that I recommend to anyone in ministry is the book REMNANT by Larry Stockstil. It’s a book about restoring INTEGRITY to the church, starting with the leaders. Check it out here!