Chuck Lawless, Professor of Evangelism and Missions, and Dean of the Graduate School at Southeastern Seminary, says pastors are most often weighed down by the following twelve things:
- Declining church growth
- Losing the support of friends
- Grieving a fall
- Sensing that the sermon went nowhere
- Losing vision
- Being lonely
- Dealing with unsupportive staff
- Remembering failures
- Dealing with death recurrently
- Facing personal jealousies
- Balancing family and ministry priorities
- Responding to criticism
Yep, twelve for twelve. I’ve experienced all of these things in my 30 years of pastoral ministry. Fortunately, not all at once.
The question is, how do we deal with these burdens?
I’m in the process of writing a book on that very topic. Tentatively titled Surviving Ministry: How to Weather the Storms of Church Leadership, I will share stories and practical, Biblical wisdom for pastors in the trenches. I’d love to hear from you. What have been your greatest struggles as a pastor? What have you learned about God, yourself, the church, and the ministry from those struggles? A personal story illustrating the risks, wounds, and rewards of ministry would be most helpful. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll keep your information confidential and change names to protect privacy.