Have you ever felt like skipping your daily devotional or prayer time? Have you ever wanted to stay home instead of going to church? Have you ever felt numb during worship, almost as if you weren’t actually there? If you have, then you have had apathy knocking at your door.
Apathy is defined as “the absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement.” In our spiritual lives, it refers to a lack of emotion and passion for God.
So what happens when a pastor’s wife becomes apathetic about serving God? I have always known that my actions are an example for the people in our congregation. I am the one they turn to for advice and an example of a godly life. I have always looked at my spiritual life as the “perfect example” for them.
However, this so-called perfect example slowly morphed into the epitome of spiritual apathy. I started to read my Bible less and less. I prayed less and less. The things of this world and the busyness of life consumed my entire being.
The change occurred so slowly I didn’t realize just how apathetic toward God I was becoming. I never noticed that my apathy had increased to the danger point and my passion for God had completely evaporated.
For those of us in ministry, it is vital to combat apathy head-on and prevent it from gaining a foothold in our lives. This indifference toward God can seem at first to be innocuous but will slowly become a destructive force.
Apathy often sneaks into our lives without our realizing it is there. But the signs of its presence are unmistakable: a lack of motivation and emotion, sometimes accompanied by the sense that we are spiritually drained and have no energy to renew our passion for God.
Though we may not want to believe that anyone in ministry could struggle with this condition, it is a common problem. Being in the ministry does not shield us from the attacks of the enemy. In fact, our position makes us more vulnerable to them.
If the enemy can get the leader down, he will have greater access to the rest of the body. That’s one reason we must guard our passion for God so carefully.
Those who are in leadership positions in the church or in a ministry are generally the ones teaching or ministering to others. Because we are usually giving out, we do not get “fed” as much. We don’t have as many opportunities to soak in a sermon or other teaching or to be prayed for at the altar.
Because the potential for an attack of apathy against leadership is so great, we must take steps to prevent falling prey to one. First, we must find additional ways to be fed. We must make an extra effort to read the Bible and pray regularly. We must avail ourselves of other great materials such as recorded sermons from different pastors and worship CDs. We need to be sure to educate and enrich our lives with as many spiritual resources as we can.
Second, we must be humble enough to go to the altar ourselves. The fact that we are in ministry doesn’t preclude our seeking out prayer ministry from someone else.
As women in ministry, we must resolve to be the spiritual example for the people around us. The level of spiritual maturity our church body attains depends on the level of spiritual maturity of the leadership. If the leaders are apathetic about God, the church body will be also-so don’t let your apathy affect the place of ministry God has put you in!
Sandi Brown (email@example.com) is a writer and speaker from Bloomfield, Indiana. She and her husband, Kirk, have been pastors at Refuge Assembly of God for the last seven years.