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:
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.
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