I AM TALKING ABOUT THE PASTORS THAT HAVE A TRUE HEART FOR GOD and HIS PEOPLE!!!
PASTOR, the most difficult calling in the world—they are GOD’S Representative and Leader of your church. Because they are entrusted by GOD to be the Spiritual Seer, Teacher, Leader and Shepherd, we forget that they are human. Studies have shown that after a few years about 80% of ordained pastors drop out of the ministry. I’ve even noticed that there is an alarming rate of suicides happening in the community of pastors. There are various reasons, but a few main reasons is that they suffer from great discouragement, burnout, stress on their family and marriage, personal struggles, battles of depression, mental issues, the many conflicts within their churches, almost never have a weekend off, are essentially on call 24/7 and the list goes on.
Being in full time ministry is one of the loneliest professions. No matter what a pastor does, know that the conversation in his/her head is the opinions of the people—You can do better, not enough preaching, not enough teaching, too soft on the people, too hard on the people and the list goes on and on. Either he/she are doing to much or not enough.
Pastors are expected to prepare and deliver oratorical perfection each week; purposely challenging, inspiring and encouraging you and I, the congregation, to accelerate spiritually and be better human beings. Now, to add to that task, they must be careful and use the right wording so not to offend and/or lose a member.
Pastors are filled with anxiety and the stress of preparing sermons that are thought-provoking, humorous, serious, entertaining and balanced with the perfect illustrations and life applications.
Imagine, a pastor’s role up close and personal. They must serve people who are in different stages of their spiritual journey, simultaneously:
Mature Christians—They go to church to worship GOD, to learn and to minister to others.
Immature Christians—Tend to say, “I didn’t get anything out of that sermon,” because their focus is solely on themselves.
Sceptics—They go to church thinking, “Where was GOD when I needed him?” or “If GOD is loving, why did this happen to me?”
Seekers—They go to church with questions, “Is GOD real?” and “Does He care for me?”
Some people have drama filled relationships and messed up lives because they are living inconsistently with biblical principles or sinning against GOD. They don’t need to hear a “feel good” sermon, they need to get back on track with GOD—meaning the Pastor needs to speak to the heart and needs of all those different people to be effective as a pastor. This requires GOD, the Holy Spirit, prayer, study, skill and preparation.
Today, people under the age of 39 are rejecting church and faith at record numbers. Many of these young people are lost spiritually and if churches do not adjust their ministry in order to get these folks involved, it will be a tragedy. Churches all over the country are empty and dying because long-time members refused to change and/or simply don’t know how nor do they desire to attract non-members.
It is hard enough for you to deal with your own family/households and I have realized that even that role is a thankless job. Think of how you wish your children would come and hug you, tell you of what a great job you’re doing; you deserve days off and vacations. Most times, you don’t hear those words coming from the ones in your house that you serve day in day out. How often we work and bust our butts day in day out, through attitudes, emotions or compassion and you want to be appreciated.
News Flash: PASTOR’S are HUMAN!
Before you get on your soap box of how pastors are not meeting your standards and needs as a pastor, let’s break down the role that you and I play, as leaders and members in the church that cause he/she to not be an effective pastor.
- We don’t see our church with our pastor’s perspective—his/her job is to see the big picture—the overall vision and view.
- We don’t see the health of the church now and for the future.
- We don’t know our pastor’s vision—It is the blueprint and guidance system for the whole church.
- We are not honest—If we have a problem, we complain to others instead of going and talking to him/her.
- We try and compare him/her with former pastors or other pastors or what was done in the golden years of the church.
- We are not our pastor’s eyes and ears—there is only one of him/her; don’t let them be blindsided by things they don’t know about.
- We don’t respect that there is only One Senior Pastor and they are very busy.
- We allow doubt and negativity into our churches based upon rumors and misconceptions.
- We don’t forge or established “Loyalty” nor “Good Connections” with our pastor. We jump from church to church when we get frustrated. Stay Committed—your church is your family.
- We hold them and their families to a standard that we are not accountable to ourselves.
- We dismiss our pastor’s spouses and family.
- We don’t encourage family time and date night for our pastors. We don’t even consider the pastor nor his family and their needs—quality time, family vacations, long weekends, continuing education and conferences to name a few.
- We don’t effectively pray for our pastors.
- We don’t even write him letters of thank you or notes of appreciation for who is and how GOD has used him/her in your life.
This is a good time to take the opportunity to think of what role we have played in not appreciating our pastors.
Next week we will discuss what we can do to encourage our pastors, their spouses and families this month.