When You Hit A Wall In Your Ministry

Have you ever hit a wall in your ministry—a place where you feel you can go no further?

This happened to me a few weeks back in relation to one of my ministry responsibilities. During a 24-hour period, I realised that I had ‘hit the wall.’ I awoke one morning and knew that I could no longer see the future for me in this particular leadership role.

Don’t get me wrong! The ministry was flourishing, I had a great team, people’s lives were being transformed, and Jesus was being glorified. However, there was now another leader who could do what I was doing—whilst due to lack of time, I was putting off other ministry opportunities available to me.

Why we hit a wall in ministry

When we feel as though we have hit a wall, it is vital to establish what—and who—is responsible for it. The situation can be caused by:

1. Ourselves

We may hit a wall when we have overextended ourselves and run out of personal resources—spiritual, emotional, mental or physical. When burnout occurs we need to do whatever it takes to replenish our reserves. On occasion, this may mean taking time out.

2. Demonic Forces

Sometimes spiritual warfare can cause us to feel that we have hit a wall and can go no further in our ministry area. When this takes place we need to recognise the warfare and deal with it for what it is—the enemy’s attempt to derail us from God’s purpose for our lives.

3. God

We can hit a wall when the time has come in our Heavenly Father’s agenda for us to release the ministry and move on.

Just because God has ordained the ending of a season does not mean that it is easy.

  • We have carried the ministry in our hearts and given our lives to serve God in this role. It can be like handing over our ‘baby’ to another ‘parent’ (leader)
  • We may not have seen the end coming and even though it is in God’s plan, it is unexpected to us (Is 55:8-9)
  • We may have been in a difficult season of transition
  • God may have allowed difficult circumstances, or even conflict, to shift us out of a role that we would not have willingly released of our own volition

Sometimes there are a combination of the above factors, as Divine timing, personal and demonic issues collide. In this case, it is good to have people in leadership that we trust who can help us work through the difficulties and our response.

When we believe God has brought us to an end in a ministry role, it is good to submit that guidance, as I have done over the past few weeks, for confirmation.

When God has a purpose in the wall

The Hunk and I have experienced this wall a number of times over the years, when it has been time to release a ministry responsibility or area of Christian leadership. We have not always responded well, even when the timing was of the Lord!

When the sudden realisation came that it was time to move out of my leadership role, it was with a mixture of pain and relief that I contemplated what I believed God was asking of me.

That day, I took time out to pray—driving for miles, contemplating the autumn scenery, walking, anguishing, surrendering. Even though I had been preparing for this wall for some time, its sudden appearance still came as a shock.

After a few hours, I drove into a reservoir park. As I drove in, I looked up, and saw—A HUGE WALL! “I’m going to walk on the wall!” I said.

Prophetic people love symbolic acts, and God in His graciousness had set me up for one, right when I needed it. That day, I walked on the wall, from one end of the dam to the other.

As I walked one way, I looked over the valley and thanked Him for everything that had led to this place: the people whose lives had been changed, the leaders who had been raised up, ministries that had been birthed, and my own growth in the journey.

It took a long time, for there was so much to be thankful for. When I had finished, I stopped, took courage and thanked God for the wall itself—this painful and confronting place.

Dangers at the Wall

It was then that I remembered past times I had faced similar walls. I have not always responded well. Some dangers of the wall are:

  • Staying too long at the wall and not willingly releasing a ministry
  • Mourning over the wall—the loss of our ministry—for longer than we should
  • Allowing the wall to define us. At the place of the wall, we are no longer the right ‘fit’ for the role. There is a danger of taking this personally or internalising reproach from others or ourselves

It was a moment of clarity and healing for me. As I paused on the reservoir wall, I chose to be thankful for my present wall and also prayed about my wrong responses to past walls.

Realise God has not Finished with you yet.

When you hit a wall in a ministry and it is God’s time for you to move on, you may not always see what He has in store for you next. But He has a future and a hope; He has a greater season of fruitfulness ahead (Jer 29:11; John 15:2).

As I walked back along the reservoir wall, I looked out over the other side, across the water to the distant hills. I thanked the Lord in faith for His provision, and for the future ahead—even though I could not define it.

At the wall that day, the Spirit prepared me to release the ministry with joy.

Have you ever, or are you experiencing a similar ‘wall?’ I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment on the bottom of this post. If the comments box is not visible, click here or on the post title and scroll down.

© Helen Calder    Enliven Publishing

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13 thoughts on “When You Hit A Wall In Your Ministry

  1. Darling, you have rolled up all the really important and heart-felt truth here and written it in this blog. Its so true and…refreshing. for me and many people who read this will see and know a pathway through what is a Wall we all face.

  2. Dear Helen,

    Thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom. I’m going to keep a copy of this on file as I know it will come in handy. It is clearly a difficult time (when you hit a wall) in which to be honest with yourself.
    Know that all the leaders at the Winepress are in my prayers as I just want God’s best for them and I’m aware of so much change and so many feelings going around at the moment.
    With God’s Love

    Nandi

    • Nandi thank you for your encouragement and prayers, so valued. Perspective can be a real challenge to us all when we’re in the midst of change and especially when we’re personally affected. I’m so thankful to be in an awesome church where we’re continually challenged to move forward and grow. As a result I’ve been able to take huge strides, both ministry-wise as well as in personal development, over the last 8 years since we’ve been here in Melbourne. I appreciate you xoHelen

  3. Thanks Helen, it’s so great to see how you have been able to ‘document’ your experience in this. Having shared part of it with you, I know your integrity and how the prophetic element helped you process it all.
    A few years ago I ‘hit a wall’ in the ministry I was in. The joy had gone out of it and it had become a ‘duty’ – which is not how ministry is meant to be! I stepped out of that area, and soon after God led me into the area of prayer. He has since confirmed in a number of ways that this is where I am meant to be for this season in my life. There is joy and ‘life’ in what I am doing. (Joyce Meyer uses the expression a ‘holy ease’, which describes it very well).
    I think the points you make about ‘why we hit the wall’ are very important – we need to discover that before we can move forward effectively.
    Thanks for sharing your wise insights – I am praying God will use you in an even greater way in your new ‘ministry opportunities’.

  4. Thanks Jenny, your own journey reflects this so well as I see God using you in profound ways to do something you are uniquely gifted for!
    And your thoughts remind me of something that is really vital for us to learn of this process.
    And that is, what appears to be a ‘wall’ is ACTUALLY a giant step upwards when God is in control of our lives and we are moving in His timing.
    xoHelen

  5. It is quite encouraging for me to know that there is a name to what I have been going through for some time. I call it hitting the wall and living a transitional period the same time. when i hit the wall about four months ago I resisted the voice of God ,His infinite love He created and earthquake that kicked me out of my comfort zone . Now I know God is preparing me for a new role. Thank you Helen for sharing your experiece, it gives me assurance that i’m not rotting off.

  6. Hi Gretiana, it’s really difficult to see clearly when you’re in the middle of it, isn’t it? Sometimes it helps to know you’re not alone, that others are going through it too.
    When I wrote the above post, I had no idea where Father was going to lead me next, ministry-wise. His plan, unknown to me then, was extraordinary!

    His Word is truth: ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ (Rom 8:28)
    He’s working things in your life according to His plan, and…it is a good one 🙂

  7. Thank you for this article on “When you
    hit a wall…..” I’ve been feeling stuck for
    quite a while. You have no idea how much
    your blog has blessed me today. I got up
    early and found this. It was
    an answer to prayer in such a powerful
    way. God is using you to touch and
    encourage others. May you and your family
    be forever blessed in every way.

    • That’s so awesome, Linda! May the encouragement continue to overflow into a New Year of fresh encounters with God for you and your family. He is a generous loving Father and has more than you could imagine!

  8. This is my second time reading this post and it has clarified a few things for me and the season I am currently in. I received directions from God about what I should be doing and it took my marriage imploding, my children living with their father and me starting over from scratch for me to fully surrender myself to God. For me to release and let go of the idols in my life and allow them to take their proper places (marriage, children, ministry). As I read this post God reminded me that where I am now is where He desires for me to be in this season and that I spent way too much time in mourning of what I thought my life should be at this point. I am surrendering my ideals, standards and expectations to God even more today and allowing Him to continue to lead me in every area of my life. I am grateful for your blog and the many ways God continues to use you to minister to me and teach me about how He desires to use my God given gifts for the up building of God’s kingdom.

    God Bless You my sister.

    • Wow, Natesha, you have been through a lot. I am praying for you today to be strengthened and encouraged in the Spirit. You have so much to offer, and Father God holds you in the palm of His hand. Good things are unfolding up ahead for you.

  9. Thanks so much for this word of wisdom. What I would need to know is how do I know if God has cause a ministry to come to an end if it was something that was started and stopped over 2 years ago and now it is so hard to pick up again where I left off. Is God saying it’s time to move on?