Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was granted to you through words of prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. – 1 Timothy 4:14
It would seem that the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy were intended to help him overcome some discouragement that his young pastoral protegee` might have been experiencing. Can you imagine that? A defeated and downhearted church leader? [Sarcasm intended]
A friend of mine once said that he could be a great pastor, if it wasn’t for the people. Obviously, this was said at a time when things were not going well for him. On the other hand, I have sometimes wondered in my former pastoral ministry if perhaps the church might have been better off if someone else didn’t have the job! Every church leader (pastor or associate staff) will face discouragement from time to time, but he or she must learn to keep those moments from becoming an overwhelming force. Each of us has particular strengths and weaknesses. We are uniquely made and gifted. Some are more “task” than “people” oriented. On the other hand, others are more relational.
However you are “wired,” you must learn to serve from your strengths while gaining the understanding that God’s strength is perfected in our weaknesses. Paul said that he had become all things to all people that by all means he might save some. We will fail and we will succeed in our service, as such is judged by mankind. Ultimately, the only review that matters however is the one given by the Master.
Help me to see that although the challenge is great, the power behind me is greater than the challenge in front of me. – Selwyn Hughes