Feeling Empty After Seminars

We held the 50th House Church Seminar for Pastors two weeks ago. It was a busy seminar for me personally as I was the only speaker. On Thursday, I talked straight from 8 AM until 10 PM.

I feel drained after seminars, not only because of the long talks I give, but because my audience consists of professional ministers.

Some come because they’re curious about the house church. Some come to get tips on improving their ministries. Some come reluctantly, being forced to go by their friends. Some even come to find faults with the house church.

The first day is always the most difficult because I face a highly skeptical – sometimes hostile – audience. But when they hear Shepherds’ testimonies, visit house church meetings and listen to more talks, their facial expressions soften. Then I’m able to relax a little.

Participants are required to submit evaluations of the seminar on the last day. They’re usually appreciatiative in their comments. Here’s some of the feedback from the last seminar:

“I was moved by your sacrificial love and care for seminar participants.”

“I feel like I’ve finally found the ministry model I’ve been looking for.”

“I saw the true Christian life of salt and light in the lives of your Shepherds.”

“I think that the book of Acts is being continuously written at Seoul Baptist.”

But some left negative comments. “Every church member acted like a salesman selling the house church.” “Some Shepherds argued with seminar participants; some even ridiculed us, saying that we must not have paid close attention during the talks.”

When I read negative comments like these after a seminar when I’m already drained, I feel like I’ll crumble.

Why do a handful of negative comments make me feel defeated even when most of the comments are glowing? This puzzled me for a while. But I think I now know the answer. It’s pride. I’m offended even by a slightly negative comment against our church because I’ve unconsciously come to believe that our church has reached the status of the New Testament Church, as many visiting pastors say. I get upset when I feel that we’re unappreciated because I pride ourselves in serving our seminar participants sacrificially to our utmost.

The only way to prevent feeling empty or defeated is to curb this pride by seeing ourselves as we are, full of shortcomings and problems, acknowledging that we are who we are totally by God’s grace, and recommitting ourselves to working only for His glory and expecting that alone.

No Comments to "Feeling Empty After Seminars"

    Leave a Reply