Finding Satisfaction in God in Your Ministry

I’ve been pondering the phrase holy dissatisfaction lately within my ministry context. Many of our ministry volunteers express a longing for more impact in our kids’ and students’ lives but wonder how to step into the gap. I have been reading and praying through their longing as I lift them up, and the term holy dissatisfaction continually crosses my mind.

Our basic human longing of holy dissatisfaction can only be fulfilled in God.

Consider these two verses:

  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).
  • “Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head” (Ephesians 4:15).

God is THE source for all that we need to walk with people in faith! His love and forethought, not to mention His grace and abounding forgiveness, are the mainstays of this life of faith we pursue. As we seek to abound in hope for our own lives and for the students we minister to, can I share a few points of encouragement with you?

Begin Each Day with Thanksgiving

First, I would encourage you and those whom you lead (whether volunteer, student, parent, or teammate) to begin each day with thanksgiving. Dissatisfaction abounds when our thoughts turn inward and focus more on ourselves than on our Creator and those whom He has given us to be in community with. It might seem silly or even cheesy to wake up and praise God for five things that we are aware of and thankful for in our lives, but couldn’t we all use a bit more cheese in our lives?

Tip: As you are having your coffee or breakfast, text three people with that day’s top five, and encourage them to look for their own top five daily things.

Pray for Direction

It’s obvious that there are many more problems in our own lives, in our neighborhoods, and in our world than we can figure out solutions for. The national dialogue is negative and mean-spirited, and the impact on us can be devastating.

But God is not bound by these barriers, and His church has often been a source of change when it was needed most throughout history! Why not now? Instead of joining into the negative dissatisfaction, what if we as God’s beloved people walk prayerfully together toward love and unity? What if we focus and highlight joy and peace? What impact might this shift create in neighborhoods and nation and world?

Tip: Pray that God would direct you to people who are in need. This might be as simple as leaving a thoughtful note for your spouse or child, or asking your Sunday School class to adopt a grandparent in your church and bless them with sweet notes or flowers a few times each year. 

Embrace God’s Plan

Last, it is impossible to think we might not ever experience holy dissatisfactionit is part of the sinful state we are living in. But God has promised to be with us in all sorts of phases in our lives, and He is faithful to His promises! He alone can wrestle us away from our times of disappointment and bring us to new hopeful places! As people who serve God in ministry to children and families, please know how much God works in and through you to build His Church!

Tip: Ask your volunteers to join you in daily prayer for their students (as you pray daily for each volunteer), asking God to bless them and create spaces for your volunteers to come alongside them and encourage their faith journey. The road for each person will be different, and God is authoring each story in its own unique way!


May God bless you richly in the coming days and weeks as you continue to lean into His strength and goodness in order that you might encourage others to lean into God too. He is our source for faith, strength, joy, and peace!

Still feeling dissatisfied?

Read a free preview of the new women's Bible study Enough for Now to learn how we can only find enough in Christ.

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Written by

Shelli Haynes

Shelli serves as assistant youth and family minister at Red Hill Lutheran in Tustin, California. She has been a DCE in Southern California churches for twenty-one years! Shelli holds a BA from Concordia University in Irvine and a MA in family ministry from Concordia University in Seward. Shelli is wife to Travis and mama to two daughters, Megan and Mandy. She and her family love the beach, backyard badminton, and Giants baseball.

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