Because summer heat does not give way to winter snows in South Florida, some may think we have no seasons. Those who live here know that to be a false perception. South Florida has distinct seasons: "Tourist Season" and "Off Season," and then the most dangerous season of all — "Hurricane Season." In recent years we've seen multiple named storms surging in the Atlantic as additional storms brewed off the coast of Africa.
Reflecting on these storms can give ministers a tool to reassess the inner quietness of their lives, the settledness of their souls. For the truth is, to be a minister is to live in a perpetual hurricane season.
Crisis is inherent in the life work of a pastor. It is part of the structure of the call — the DNA of ministry
The minister may seem to be an ordered person in an ordered world, spending time in quiet reading, careful study, and meaningful appointments. In reality, the call brings him to minister to those caught in the storms that rage around a fallen race. If he lives in quietness and peace, it is only because he has planted his life in the eye of the hurricane — the calm vortex of an ongoing storm. The effective pastor knows how to live in this vortex, and, traveling with the human storm, become an agent of God's healing and rescue for those caught in the storm. A minister is called into the middle of a screaming, powerful, and destructive world. He orders his life so that God's purpose and joy mark both the minister and the people.
Many ministers apparently do not know this. Some edge out into the surrounding storms and are themselves caught in the destruction, no longer able to reflect God's redemptive presence. What had been a quietness of soul is engulfed in the raging winds of fear and frustration. Survival becomes the order of the day. Judgments are no longer prayerful responses, but hasty, panicked reactions. Congregations may sense they are not safe with their minister and begin to withdraw. At that point, God, often through other loving servants, must come and rescue these ministers from the storm.
Those who minister must monitor the weather of their hearts. At the first sign of getting caught in the storms, they must retreat to the to the Father's presence. There is safety in His presence. It is there the effective pastor lives.