General CBF / Resources

Life in ministry; awaiting the coming grace

Life together in ministry must always await the coming grace. Each day in ministry closes with more still to be done. This challenge creates enormous highs and debilitating lows.

Remember in Walter Wangerin’s Book of the Dun Cow, when Chauntecleer the Rooster was to be found not in the highs of leadership but in the lows of it all for a multitude of reasons. He was in a filthy mood, and the narrator observes, “It is a lesson, how one may pass quickly from the immortal feeling of triumph to the mortal mood of grumpiness.”

Ministers live between these extremes, but ministry does not need to be confined to or stymied by how this minister or that minister happens to feel on any given day. Well-being in ministry seeks openings and occasions for new vision.

Seems to me that this prompts two good conversations for us to explore.  Name a minister who embodies those characteristics that might serve to provide vision for ministry that can endure and flourish over the long haul. Name a community of faith that lives well through the highs and lows, the rise and fall of ministry. After all, we cannot become what we do not have a model for becoming.

A recent publication by the CBF Initiative for Ministerial Excellence, Well-Being and Excellence in Ministry—A Practical Resource for Ministers and Caring Congregations encourages ministers and congregational leaders to consider what good conversations they might share as they create their life together.  Download the resource and get more information at

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