Pastors Are People
Can I be honest? Warning: It might sound like I'm complaining, but I promise that isn't my heart... I just want to be real. Being a Pastor, second only to being a Husband and Father, is the absolute joy of my life. But, not unlike marriage and parenting, it isn't always cupcakes and rainbows. I recognize that in the grand scheme of life, I'm relatively young, haven't been married all too long (going on 10 years), haven't been a dad all too long (just over 5 years), and I haven't been a Pastor all too long either (10 years as a Staff Pastor and not even 6 months as a Senior Pastor... Which is why I want to bring in a seasoned voice to this conversation - I recently watched a video where Thom Rainer discussed the top five consistent sources of discouragement for Pastors. You can watch that video HERE
The top five consistent sources of discouragement for Pastors via Thom Rainer
- Fighting among members
- Not only is this immensely discouraging, but I would argue (and so would the Bible) that it is also the greatest threat to the church being used by God to reach their community.
- Criticism/Bullying from members
- If you're leading, you will be criticized - plain and simple. Leaders promote change. And, the hard reality is, not everyone likes it.
- Comparisons to other pastors, churches, and ministries
- I feel this is pretty self-explanatory... Comparisons stink.
- Guilt associated (whether brought on by a third party or yourself) with the fact that you can't be everywhere for everyone all the time.
- I am learning more each day that I am limited in my time, ability, energy, and knowledge.
- Members leaving, regardless of the reasoning
- Sometimes people move for work, sometimes people leave angrily, and sometimes people just stop coming to your church for no apparent reason other than maybe they just don't like you... Whatever the reason, it's hard to not take it personally and to not feel a void when they're gone.
Pastors - Be encouraged. You are loved. You are making a difference. Never forget why you accepted God's call to ministry - Because you want to see Jesus change people's lives with His love and goodness.
Members - Love your pastor. Encourage them. Pray for them. Run with them. Offer them grace. And know that the only reason they do what they do is because they want to make the world, and your life for that matter, better.