“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

By Irene Swift, deaconess student

Church Work and Self-Doubt: “Chief of Sinners Though I Be”

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Heb. 13:20–21)

When I was 17 years old, I first learned what a deaconess was, and I knew that it was for me. I wanted to help people, counsel them and teach them about God.

What could be better, right? It sounded perfect.

But, when I started going to school for it I suddenly started doubting both myself and God.

  • What if I wasn’t smart enough?
  • What if I wasn’t confident enough?
  • What if I wasn’t knowledgeable enough when it comes to theology and the Bible?
  • What if I wasn’t a good enough Christian and too big of a sinner?

Then I considered all of the people that God used in the Bible and how they weren’t perfect either.

Moses had a stutter. King David was a murderer and an adulterer. Jeremiah was just a “youth.” Paul was a nonbeliever.

But God used Moses to free His people. King David was in the line of Jesus. Jeremiah was a prophet. Paul was a rock of the early church.

God used all of these people who, for one reason or another, seemed unqualified to do His work.

If God can use all of these people to do His work then surely He could use me.

I may not be the smartest, or the most confident, or the most knowledgeable, but I have a God who is all of those.

Our heavenly Father will use me in whatever way He needs.

It doesn’t matter what I can do. All that matters is what He can do.

The best part of this is that God can do anything!

Church work is not always going to be easy. Sometimes we will doubt ourselves.

Not to worry, God has a plan for you, and He will use you when He is ready.

Take your doubts and questions to the Savior. Pray to God and trust in Him always.

To God be the Glory every day.

Irene Swift is in the Deaconess Studies program at Concordia University Chicago. In summer 2019, the Ohio native is scheduled to begin her internship at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Manawa, Wis.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.