Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Grieving over a dead ministry

When you go through loss - no matter if it's a loved one, a relationship, a job or a ministry - you travel down the path of grief and negotiate its various stages.

From ministry, either vocational or volunteer, you draw a lot of positives as you serve and journey alongside others. And, when a ministry venture comes to a close, the loss can be great.

As such, you traverse through the stages of grief...

Denial: No matter if the loss was expected or sudden the wound is fresh and you're in shock at the change. You'll wish that everything could go back to "normal" and you could "wake up from the nightmare."

Anger: You want to lash out in order to maintain the feeling of control, no matter what your degree of culpability, as the wound is still raw.

Bargaining: You play the "what if..." game and scenario a heap of past events in order to envisage how things might have paned out differently. But, you can't go back in time...

Depression: Now, you actually feel the loss and the vacuum it's created in your life - time, money, relationships, feeling of purpose and accomplishment...

Acceptance: You figure out a new reality and how you best function in that new realm. Now the wound is a scar that you learn to live/deal with.

Given enough time in the church, you'll find out that some things you're involved with come to a close. Ministry activities and, even ministry vocations, aren't meant to last forever.

The best thing we can do is recognize that, with the closure of a ministry, their will be pain, and grief, but, thankfully, that need not be where we choose to stay.

No comments: