Feeling the “Downs” of Ministry?

I feel like I’ve done all the right things when it comes to managing my ministry. I’ve carefully explored new areas of growth without rushing into things. I’ve created a prioritization list of what is most important and impactful in my ministry. I’ve said “no” numerous times to people. I even created a “stop doing” list so that I could stop doing all the tasks I shouldn’t be doing.

So why do I still feel like I’m doing too much in my ministry? Why do I feel like I’m doing good things, but I haven’t quite landed on the great things I should be doing?

I love my current role as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose. I feel like my team and I have started some phenomenal initiatives to help churches, to develop leaders, and to develop new programs. I know I am doing good work.

Yet, in the back of mind, I feel like I’m not quite there. There’s more I can do. I can be more efficient with my time. I can be more effective in serving my Diocese.

Do you ever feel this way?

I’m starting to figure some of the reasons why I feel this way:

  • I have a constructive spirit of discontent. Meaning, I’m never quite happy with the end product, even if others say it is excellent.
  • I have surrounded myself with other leaders who do better ministry than I. That has challenged me to work harder and smarter.
  • I listen to podcasts and read blogs that allow me to see my ministry from a different perspective, which helps me think outside of the box.
  • I’m getting a bit older (not middle aged by any means) and I want to make sure that how I am spending my time is making a real difference.
  • I play the comparison game. I see what other ministries or other leaders are doing and I think I am inadequate.

I think there are pro’s and con’s to the above bullets. I am in a constant mode of professional growth because of it. Yet, sometimes, I feel like the way I am thinking is unhealthy.

I don’t have any solutions or answers. This is just the way I feel sometimes. And it causes me to feel down on myself.

I do know this: there have been plenty of times where God has affirmed me for the work I do. I recognize God’s hand in my ministry and the impact it has had. That’s what keeps me going when I start to feel a little down.

In the end, I know I am truly called to be leading the ministry I am in right now. I just need that reminder from time to time.

Question: Do you ever feel this way? How do you manage that feeling?

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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