The Joy in Pastoral Ministry

“I am a failure in ministry. I am not sure if this is the calling upon my life” These are the thoughts many pastors feel on a Monday morning. In fact, just yesterday there were 2 pastors who were forced to resign without being given a clear reason. The church leadership bullying happens on shepherds and not communicate to the congregation they are being forced out.

The heartache and hardship can leave painful memories and crush so many pastors. The struggle in pastoral ministry is a real thing.

Statistics across has shown how many ministers in pastoring feel wearisome and burned out from the demands of ministry.

Yet, though pastoring is tough, the secret to endurance in pastoral ministry is the joys in ministry. Even in the darkest night of pastoral ministry, the joy of ministry always trumps over the hardship.

Are you going through a hard season in ministry? I want you to know I hear you and see you. I want to encourage you to continue as we remember the joys of ministry. Don’t give up on ministry and the church.

Here are few encouraging notes that fueled me to continue in faithful endurance in finishing the race well.

Knowing How Does the Pastoring Life Works?

One of the members messages me this note I wasn’t expecting, but the person wanted to know how pastoral ministry worked on a day-to-day basis. It is encouraging notes like this that I look occasionally and be reminded that God is at work despite my own weakness and failings. Here is how it went.


Hey Jonathan, I’ve been meaning to communicate a few things to you for a while now so, here I go!

I wanted to extend encouragement to you. 

From the time you first visited and the time your name was first mentioned, I was able to hear one of your older sermons. I knew God was speaking through you and it was what I needed.

I wanted to thank you for your passion and continuous effort that is displayed. You always show up energized, passionate, and ready to be fully present. In other words, it is observed that you always show up to each occasion and arise to it. It is very admirable. It definitely demonstrates Christ-like characteristics. Your life seems to be 1) fully alive in Christ, 2) you seem to be dependable, 3) you seem to be authentic, and 4) your life is compelling. 

I am on Facebook at weird hours, sometimes late and early and messenger shows when people are active. Do you sleep? Do you have some sort of secret energy supplement? 

Your life, particularly career, is somehow a reality to a similar vision I had for my life long ago: ministry, helping others, family involved, and multiple things (counseling, pastoring, and placement for housing). For some reason, I have the desire and feel like it would be so cool to follow you around for a day to somehow do a shadow like thing. I am so interested in how you do what all you do and somehow feel like if I am able to observe, I would be able to understand how this is possible and how I could make this similarly possible for myself in the future. 

Since hearing about your trip to Japan, I have been captivated. Learning about the country, its history, its culture, the people, but most importantly their glaring need, it has hit me like a ton of bricks. Their glaring need is so similar to what I have witnessed in this country.  It was funny, weeks later after the time you gave us pizza and showed that video, the side comment you made to a lady replay in my head. Something to the effect of she is stirred. Maybe she needs to come got me thinking. It would be such a cool opportunity to witness the conference, hear the speakers, experience the environment in the conference room, hear how the information can help, but also see firsthand how vast God‘s creation actually is. I know, not super practical however, I wanted you to be aware that someone does your share your heart and desire. Sharing does matter. People do listen. 

If there was a job to be your assistant, or to be trained up similarly to continue the Lords work like you, I take it. Not to flatter, but to simply express the cool uniqueness, your life displays and selfishly hope the Lord will use me in a similar way to how He has used you for His kingdom. 

Anyways, I thank you and appreciate the time you took to read this and apologize for dumping all my thoughts I have had stored for a while now onto you in one go. I finally wanted to thank you for taking time to hear a little about God’s testimony through me earlier in the year in addition to connecting to some of the college kiddos at lunch that one time.

I hope and pray you have a great day and see a new way God displays Himself. 

Encourage Notes from the Flock you Shepherd

This was a note of encouragement I received recently at a luncheon by one of the church leaders after our church service.

Thank you for joining us to honor and thank Pastor Jonathan today. We had to have fried chicken for as Jonathan says, whenever two or three Baptists join together a chicken must die. 

I’d like to share something about Pastor Jonathan Hayashi. I’ve noticed some phrases that Pastor Hayashi has used on more than one occasion. So, I’d like to take a few moments to share some of his greatest hits. As you listen, you might just hear some familiar phrases. 

Now, I may need your help here. I’m not the world’s most dynamic speaker. I sometimes tend to send people to the land of nod. So, I’m going to need you to lean in, no really lean in. Pastor Jonathan, you need to buckle up!  Here we go!

It was no accident that Jonathan was available when we were ready to call him as our interim pastor. There are no coincidences under God’s plan, only God-cidences. It was God’s plan for Pastor Jonathan to lead us these last several months. 

What do I think of Pastor Jonathan Hayashi? I’m so glad you asked! I remember when we first gathered as deacons and personnel to watch a video of one of his sermons. My initial reaction was “Wow!”  Let me say that backwards, “Wow!”  His passion and empowerment by the Spirit was evident.  I knew if we called him, we might become a Bapticostal church. 

Today I’d like to mention four specific characteristics about Pastor Jonathan —brought to you by the letter “E:” He’s Energetic, Empathetic, Evangelistic, and Encouraging.

Do all y’all agree?  You know “y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural. You tracking with me?

Jonathan has encouraged us, led us, and at times challenged us. If you can’t say amen, you can say ouch. As such, today we are going to get into God’s word so God’s word can get into us. As Jonathan has taught us, always remember when reading your Bible, when you read therefore, you need to find out what the therefore is there for. 

Another thing that Jonathan told us is that you can do all things… with a verse taken out of context. 

So, Matthew 18:19 says, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” So, say it with me now, “Go Chiefs!” Now God will bless the Chiefs!  That’s what the Bible says. That’s how this works. Does it make sense?

On a serious note, Jonathan has been such a blessing to Hamilton Street. He has provided us with encouragement and has led a time of healing and continued spiritual growth under his leadership. He has preached the word to help others grow in Christ and be rescued from H E double hockey sticks. 

It’s time to tell the truth and shame the devil. The truth is that we are a better church because of God’s work through Pastor Jonathan. Jonathan, we love you and we thank, and we praise God for you. 

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