Teaching You To Become A Good Steward
“I can plod.”
The man who said those words was William Carey (1761-1834). Perhaps you recognize the name? He is remembered as the father of modern missions, a man who by God’s grace pioneered an awakening in the country of India. He faced severe obstacles and devastating setbacks, yet his ministry was used mightily by God. And he could plod. But is plodding—honorable as it sounds—really what we ought to be doing for God? Is it not more honorable to engage in bold advances for the Kingdom? Shouldn’t we pray for miracles and expect God to do great things? Why plod? Shouldn’t we expect great things from God? Shouldn’t we do something more than just plod? William Carey was obviously a courageous missionary, and by all accounts, a success. But lest we adopt his plodding mantra without careful thought, let’s think about some of the negative ramifications of plodding.
Perils of Plodding
Plodding can result in discouragement. The dictionary definition of plodding is “slow-moving and unexciting.” To illustrate, let’s say a man is a pastor of a small church. He’s a plodder. He’s a faithful guy. But as his ministry rolls on, month after month, year after year, he realizes that not a whole lot is happening. Revivals are not forthcoming. Droves of people are not getting saved. In fact, some of the families that he thought he “put back together,” have come totally unglued. The man plods, but discouragement sets in.
Plodding can result in burnout. When a person pours intense labor into something for which they are not gifted, burnout will result. For example, consider a pastor whose gift is Bible exposition. He is not gifted at administration. However, his church of 200 people and lots of programs demands a great deal of administration. Soon, the pastor discovers that the lion’s share of his time is consumed by administrative details. Despite his lack of administrative skill, he tries to organize programs and oversee events. He feels like he’s banging his head against a wall. And eventually, he gives in. He is exhausted. He is fatigued. He plods. And burns out.