We graduated with stars in our eyes: ready to go out and save the world, build up the church, and serve God with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies.
We never imagined that people could be so cruel, that people would (let alone that Christians COULD) say such things.
I’ve since learned that they can and DO say such things. They criticize you, your husband, your home, your children — even your pets, for goodness’ sake — behind your back, and smile and hug you on Sunday morning.
And the criticism can be very cruel and hurtful. And if all they do is criticize, one is fortunate. It gets ugly when they try to get rid of you using ungodly means, such as lying about you or your spouse, or simply withholding pay.
I don’t remember any warnings about the ugly side of ministry.
One thinks that after 4+ years of Bible college that one is prepared for ministry … One is never really prepared.
And who knows if we would have listened if they had warned us. Like I said, we had stars in our eyes and Jesus in our hearts. We were invincible.
The lessons learned are very painful. I am grateful that we have, so far, been shielded from the worst of the worst. But I know of many pastors and their families whose lives have been turned upside down by a church they served … by a church they served.