If it is true, as some pastors have warned, that “ministry can be a great place to hide out and a great place to burn out,” then ministry attracts both the workaholic and the lazy. Because all of us are prone to idolatry, we are likely more prone to one expression of sin than the other. If you are prone to laziness, you likely enjoy comfort and leisure more than accomplishment and the grind. As I have offered four ways to fight being a ministry workaholic, here are four ways to fight being lazy in ministry.
- Remember how God sees laziness.
The Bible is very clear that laziness is foolish and displeasing to the Lord. In the wisdom writings, the lazy sluggard is told to learn from ants that work hard and save for the future (Proverbs 6:6). The apostle Paul told believers in the city of Thessalonica that those who did not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Those who serve in ministry desire a noble task, a task that must not be approached with laziness.
- Run to Christ, not to work.
When conviction over laziness comes, the solution is not to run quickly to work with a flurry of activity. Don’t solve the sin of laziness with the sin of workaholism. Instead, run to Christ. When you run to Christ, you will see Him as your Master. And when you understand Christ is your Master, you won’t approach your role with laziness. Instead, “whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).
- Realize the weight of stewardship.
Ministry leaders are administrators or stewards (Titus 1:7). If you lead a ministry, you not only steward the spiritual gifts the Lord has given you, but you also steward the resources and trust people have put into your care. A lazy ministry leader squanders the investment of resources that others have handed him or her. If you won’t repent of your laziness, the people who invest in you should be given the opportunity to invest in someone who is not lazy. In many ways, lazy ministry leaders rob from the ministries they steward.
- Reflect on eternity.
Missionary C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” One day Christ will return and our work will be revealed. Lazy and apathetic approaches to ministry will be revealed as a waste of gifting and time. What is done for Him will last.