A brother who was helping in me in the Lord's work left. What can I do?




A brother here was very involved in a ministry that we were a part of. He and I were both the male figures who were coordinating this ministry. Because of his adiction, he has recently left the church and ministry thereby leaving me by myself to manage it. I feel as though l have been let down, frustrated and upset, because this ministry is growing. I have two other sisters assisting me in the ministry, but it appears that I may be the only male person that is organizing it. I am very concerned due to the brother's absence, that my duties have increased and therefore is putting more pressure on me. I would like for this ministry to succeed with the help of another brother. We have a youth evening every Friday and it appears that I may have to be there each Friday. Could you provide any advise to help me through this difficult time?

During Paul's first jouney through the area we now call Asia Minor, we read, "Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem" (Acts 13:13). The aburt departure by John Mark must have hurt deeply because when a second journey was being organized, we read, "Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing." Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God" (Acts 15:36-40). Eventually John Mark proved himself to be more dependable and at the end of Paul's life he wrote, "Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry" (II Timothy 4:11).

Being the core person is not often fun and I can sympathize. It has happened to me several times in the past, as I tend to work with small congregations. Few in number means there are few to depend upon and when someone you and leaned on suddenly disappears, well, panic insues.

But think about the situation. You are working with youth. Would you want someone who is addicted to drugs working with vunerable young people? It seems to me that overall you are better off having his problem come out into the open than for it to remain hidden and cause untold damage.

What do you do? You do what you can with the gifts God has given you. Give it your best so that you can look back one day and have no regrets, but realize that even with your best you are just one man and you won't be able to do everything. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Perhaps my favorite verse is, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do'" (Luke 17:10).

Perhaps the work will grow at a slower pace for a while. Perhaps there are weeks when you just won't be able to come because of other obligations. Such is life. But don't give up on all the work just because you can't do it all. The "some" that you are doing is far greater than "nothing." Pray, and the Lord will send aid when you aren't expecting it and from a direction you never looked. (I would offer to lend a hand, but Bermuda is a bit far from Nebraska to come every Friday.)

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