Dealing with Discouragement

There are times when leaders must deal with their own discouragement. If they do not, the ministry will suffer. Church Leadership Center.

Written by Burt Braunius /
May 3, 2022

When in juxtaposition to one another, the songs “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Singin’ in the Rain” reflect the extremes of our emotions. Karen Carpenter sings, “Hangin’ around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.” To feel sad, click here.

Gene Kelly, in contrast, soft (soggy)-shoes while crooning, “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling, I’m happy again.” To experience a few moments of bliss, click here.

There are times when leaders must deal with their own discouragement. If they do not, the ministry will suffer. Here’s how to do it according to a few strong leaders.

General Colin Powell had rules for dealing with himself. Here are a few that relate to discouragement:

  • It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  • Get mad, then get over it.
  • Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  • Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  • Check small things.
  • Remain calm. Be kind.
  • Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.

-Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
(for more of Powell’s thinking, see his latest book, It Worked for Me.)

Dan Rockwell, in his “Leadership Freak” blog, in part says to deal with discouragement by remembering…
You’re never at your best when you’re tired. Problems are bigger and success is smaller.
Regret follows exhaustion. You end up saying, “I wish I hadn’t said/done that.”
Refuel your tank –

  • Hang with positive people.
  • Let someone care for you. It’s time for self-reflection if no one cares for you.
  • Do more of what you love.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Sleep or nap.

(For the entire blog, click here)

Rick Warren gives some “Keys to Getting Victory Over Discouragement in Ministry.”

  • Keep your eyes on your vision, not what things look like now.
  • Keep your personal relationship with God strong. When you are weary, spending time waiting upon Him is the answer to getting refreshed.
  • If possible, have people you can turn to and talk to… We need to be able to be real with others – especially peers in ministry – and not feel like we have to put on a front for them. Ministers need to be able to be a support system for each other.
  • Seek God for wisdom about why things are not going according to plan! There are times when we may have missed God or disobeyed an instruction and now the project is not going right. It may not be that the actual project is wrong, but maybe that we are not implementing it how God intended.
  • Numerical growth is not everything! Don’t get caught up in the numbers game and feel it is all about how many people you have compared to another church down the road! Focus on God’s call for you and be faithful to minister to those you have.

(For the full article, click here)

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