How many times I have heard this phrase I do not know. Guys that were in the ministry aren’t anymore because they got burned. People pursuing God but now aren’t because they got burned. I don’t go to church anymore because I got burned.
Let me begin by saying I am not discounting the pain or the trauma or the trial. I understand how it can sting to get burned and leave a rather awful taste in the mouth and cause us to repel all that reminds us of the experience.
But who honestly hasn’t been burned in one way or another in ministry? The Bible gives us no outs. We don’t get to escape. Follow Jesus in the Gospels. Talk about getting burned. But there He went – straight to the cross. And our getting burned happens to be part of the path God has allowed us to walk through. And our being burned somehow makes us either more grace filled and more forgiving and more Christ like or it doesnt.
My personal feeling is that there has been so much ministry and shaping and moulding done in my life that to walk away after getting burned in ministry would be a complete and utter waste of God’s resources. At the moment, I don’t feel burned. But in the last 20 years of ministry, I have had those “microwave set on intense heat” kind of burnings. But so what? I have learned from them. I have evaluated what aspects of it I needed to experience to change into being more like Christ. I have evaluated my ability to forgive others and pray God’s blessings on them, even when I wanted to call for a plague of locusts on them.
Let’s get real. Being burned is no real reason to jettison ministry. Rather, it is one more opportunity Christ has given us to become like Him in a new way.