|Newsletter - Hal's Struggles
Usually Hal looked forward to the 'how is it with your soul' part of our mentoring group meeting. But that day he was unsually quiet and answered last. He stared at the table a while, his words stuck in his throat. Then he covered his face and tears came, as he unpacked the way he had been blind-sided at an elder's meeting the night before. Not only had Hal been harshly attacked, but he feared his board was heading in a direction that could undo years of progress. They had a history of heavy-handedness and he felt they were seriously out of touch with the heart of the church
Hal had his critics of course, but everyone knew this growing church overwhelmingly supported his ministry. Yet now, in spite of his track record of effective ministry, Hal was overwhelmed with self-doubt: Had he mis-read everything? Was he losing his competency? "My wife feels so angry and frightened," he continued, "and we're both fighting bitterness." And Hal - one of our finest - was seriously questioning whether he should stay in the ministry.
Once Hal finished his story one by one his colleagues affirmed Hal - his significant skills and his shepherd's heart. Then an elder in our circle walked over to Hal, laid his hands on him, and gathered all of us around to pray.
When Hal asked "what I should do from here?" The circle gently coached him to reconsider some of his instinctive reactions - which likely prevented him from burning more bridges. And they helped him reframe the scenario: "Getting hurt in ministry is not merely a potential 'hazard of the trade." Rather it is often the central process by which the best ministry gets done."
Hal left the mentoring circle that evening with confidence restored and hope renewed, no longer feeling alone. He credits his mentoring circle with actually saving his ministry!
By the way, although "Hal" is real, he is not just one person. He is a composite of several church leaders in our groups, who are walking through tough times, supported by their mentoring circles.
Thanks for helping them.
Hope Network Ministries
22 Park Mountain
San Antonio, TX 78255
email: Hope Network