Why Do Churches Wound Their Pastors?

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Why Do Churches Wound Their Pastors?

By Dan Doriani

A renowned Reformed pastor, great preacher, visionary leader, and tender man endured such criticism from his church that he almost despaired. He told one of his confidants, “After 12 years as a pastor, I had to put a wall between myself and my people so I wouldn’t have to quit the ministry.”

“Jack” was another esteemed pastor. An excellent preacher with sterling organizational skills, he fostered healthy church growth and led numerous citywide ministries. When he retired, the leaders of the pastoral search team visited me. We spent an hour getting to know each other, then their presentation began. Before long, I felt compelled to interrupt, “Please don’t tell me your goal is to find a senior pastor who’s more of a shepherd than Jack.” Faces fell.

“How did you know?”

I replied: “Jack is friendly and socially adept, but clearly not as sociable as you are-we just spent an hour talking about our families. Jack is always busy preaching, teaching, and leading. Your church has 3,000 people, so you know he can’t know everyone. But you’re sad he doesn’t really know all 60 elders. Since you admire him, you long to know him and hope you will know your next pastor. But no one is equally gifted at everything, and everyone’s time is limited. Therefore, if this search led to a man bent on shepherding, he would inevitably be less devoted to preaching or leadership. But after 25 years with Jack, the church expects and needs a senior pastor who preaches and leads with excellence. If you want a consummate preacher, teacher, and shepherd, you want the perfect pastor.”

In short, the committee loved Jack, but they also thought, We need to fix his weakness. They forgot that everyone has weaknesses.

‘We Need to Fix Him’

My work often leads to sustained conversations with elders, unordained leaders, and pastors of large, complex churches. With rare exceptions, churches are quite vocal about the flaws of their pastors, whether newly installed or long faithful. Good churches wish it were different, but they tend to think all will be well if the pastor improves, and they take better care of him.

At first, churches are eager to care for new pastors, especially senior pastors. They want to ensure that he has time for his family, that he doesn’t work too hard, that he joins a gym or a club. They want to treat him well-certainly better than the last pastor, who finished his tenure visibly exhausted. This intention is typically more enthusiastic than resolute, for the tone changes a few years into the pastor’s tenure.

The main problem is almost always criticism and opposition. Every pastor who effectively leads an influential church will face opposition. Heroes like Anselm, Chrysostom, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Edwards tasted fierce resistance, even hostility. Because they enacted essential reforms and addressed burning theological debates, confrontation was inevitable.

Anyone with great skill and influence becomes a target. Similarly, a rapidly growing church will rouse opposition from its community, as neighbors protest increased traffic, and nearby pastors-possibly motivated by jealousy-imagine they detect heterodoxy.

These troubles are inevitable but manageable. The principal challenge lies within the pastor’s own church. This is a great shame, as a growing church should bring positivity. A greater community means greater donations and therefore deserved improvements to the churches that are so adored. Maybe it’s time to get started with researching the best ways to donate whether that be digitally or traditionally.

Five Causes of Criticism

This spring, I spoke to a group of large-church pastors, staff members, and elders. During a Q&A, an elder asked, “What is the single greatest problem facing pastors today?” I replied, “The greatest problem is internal opposition from subversive co-leaders and self-appointed critics within the church.” The pastors released a collective groan of recognition and assent.

I will briefly mention five causes of criticism and focus on the fifth.

First, a pastor may face full-blown antagonists who will lie, deceive, and manipulate to destroy him and control the church.

Second, a pastor must negotiate with talented, successful, and therefore opinionated people who love him but believe he’s dead wrong about a critical issue.

Third, a pastor pays for the errors of his subordinates. If a staff member commits a major sin, the senior pastor properly faces questions: Did he fail to address a nascent problem? But catastrophes can be unforeseeable.

Fourth, a pastor see problems that appear to invite, even demand, reform. Most people resist change. Further, those committed to the existing order will be inclined to resist proposals for a new system. New pastors know it is wise to delay changes, if possible, to build trust while making non-controversial improvements. Bold changes arrive later.

Machiavelli said there is nothing more difficult in leadership than creating a new order. Everyone who’s done well under the old system is an enemy, and those who may do well in the new order will be lukewarm allies. Machiavelli is needlessly pessimistic, since a manifestly flawed order always attracts reformers, and there is a minority that simply likes change. Nonetheless, pastors do court opposition when they initiate change.

But I want to focus on criticism directed at a pastor’s genuine flaws.

Finally, every senior pastor deserves criticism for two reasons. Above all, every pastor is a sinner. Pastors sin both in their private lives and in their work. When thwarted, they become harsh or angry. When self-discipline wanes, they prepare inadequately to preach, lead, or shepherd.

Further, no pastor has all the skills to lead well. To be sure, certain pastors lack self-discipline and essential abilities. But let’s focus on pastors with character, skill, and a capacity for work. Even they are criticized for their inadequacies, often fiercely and shamelessly, by their own people.

For example, senior pastors with great skill as preachers and leaders suffer criticism for deficient people skills. Some pastors are awkward or aloof. But even friendly, perceptive pastors hear this criticism. Why? Highly gifted preachers and leaders probably are less adept with people. Who excels at everything? Beyond that, senior pastors must push through demanding schedules. That can make them seem abrupt. Everyone is finite. Faithful pastors face demands on their time, so they cannot socialize freely. This is unavoidable, yet it offends. Yes, the ideal pastor will be equally adept at (1) preaching and teaching, (2) casting vision and leading, (3) and counseling and mentoring. But no human excels at every task.

Consider that God ordained three ongoing offices for Israel: prophet, priest, and king. None but Jesus held all three offices. Few had even two: Melchizedek was priest and king, Moses was a prophet and kingly leader, and David was king and prophet, at least informally, through his psalms. Even if we add a few more dual-role leaders, almost no one had two offices and no one but Jesus had all three.

The implication is clear: No church should expect its pastor(s) to excel in the prophetic, kingly, and priestly aspects of godly leadership. No one is equally gifted and passionate about the prophetic (teaching and preaching), the kingly (leading and organizing), and the priestly (shepherding and prayer). Even if a pastor were capable in every area, he’ll find one exhilarating, the other exhausting.

Better Way

Why does the church freely, cruelly criticize its pastors for falling short of perfection? Why do we forget that Jesus alone is perfect, that Jesus alone redeems? To demand perfect skill, holiness, and ever-effective labor from anyone is akin to idolatry. Grace-centered churches must know this. But churches idolize their pastors one day and savage them the next. Americans can’t bear disappointment in silence, and all too often, we behave more like Americans than disciples.

The author of Hebrews names a better way: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. . . . Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls. . . . Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Heb. 13:7, 17).

If you are in ministry or have been wounded serving others or have wounded someone else, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach for help with the healing process.

5 Lessons Learned in Reclaiming Rest

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5 Lessons Learned in Reclaiming Rest

It has been harder than I expected. In the fall, I announced to our staff and leadership that January would be a dead month. We would plan nothing extracurricular for our church family. No extra meetings, no fellowships, nothing.

We are on the backside of a busy and challenging season within our church. Over the last twelve months our campus has been dismantled and put back together through a building project that expanded and remodeled our sanctuary, added an addition to our children’s building, and overhauled our landscaping and parking area.

Throughout the last year nothing has been normal and everything we have done has been trickier than usual. As a result, we are tired. The staff is tired and our people are tired. We need rest. We don’t need rest only because we feel like it, we need rest because God said so. God built times of mandated rest into the ancient Jewish calendar. In addition to weekly Sabbaths, the feasts provided regular times of rest for people to re-focus their attention on God and his works of salvation.

Making time to rest and re-focus takes work and commitment. Here are some lessons that I’ve learned along this process:

Say no to good things.

Rest requires trust. Trust that the world will go on just fine without us and that God will remain in control. When I decided that we would not have a fellowship luncheon for guests and potential new members in January I did so trusting that God could and would care for those people and that he would help us to minister to their needs.

Make “no” your go to answer.

Yes, this seems negative, but saying no to one thing means saying yes to another. When I said “yes” to rest I could no longer say yes to everything else. Over the past few months when January has been mentioned in meetings or conversations, my responses have begun with no and then an explanation of why the answer had to be no.

Make no exceptions.

When the door gets cracked for that one thing, it will remain cracked for other things. Either rest matters or it doesn’t.

Don’t be a jerk.

Be firm and be committed, but don’t be a jerk. Remember that people who want to plan things in your church have the best intentions. As pastor, you have a responsibility to diagnose the needs of your church that it may not even know exist. If you have diagnosed the need for focused rest, then explain that carefully and often. Stick to your guns, but do not be a jerk.

Model rest before your people.

If rest matters, then make sure your people see rest as a priority in your life. Jesus rested. Sabbath is a command of God in the Old Testament, not for God, but for man. Take time off. Turn your phone off. Don’t be a hypocrite.

It is ironic that resting would be so difficult. Resting is not prized in our society or in our churches. I have had to work hard to carve out time for our church to rest. But if the church is to be a counter-cultural refuge then it must eschew the constant connectedness of culture and occasionally disconnect from busyness to reconnect with the God who created us.

Dear Pastor, How to Survive and Thrive During Christmas

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Dear Pastor, How to Survive and Thrive During Christmas

By Marty Duren

It almost sounds heretical doesn’t it? The idea that a pastor—called of God to lead and feed God’s people—could endure rather than enjoy the Christmas season? Let it not be!

Yet, because churches try to pack as much into the Christmas season as possible, pastors often find themselves unable to say “no” to one more invite to a class party, department fellowship, church-family gathering, or other yuletide function. By the time the last week of December rolls around many pastors find they have barely kept themselves—much less Christ—in Christmas.

Having survived a number of Christmases in ministry, here are a few things that can help you survive and thrive during Christmas.

Say “no.”

No matter how young and energetic or aged and spry you are, don’t do too much at Christmas. It’s okay to say “no” to some of the events to which you get an invitation. You can’t “keep Christ in Christmas” if you are giving yourself to everyone except Him.

Spread the ministry.

Whether your church has multiple staff, elders, deacons, a church council, or some combination, involve all of them in ministry around Christmas. Be honest that you cannot be available for every church event, family event, and community event without wearing out. Assign days for others to be responsible to spearhead ministry—even in emergencies. Lead the church-wide Christmas get together if needed, then graciously decline as many smaller parties as you can.

Take time off.

If it is at all possible save some vacation time for Christmas so you end up with multiple consecutive days off. Most years the world slows down at Christmas. Take advantage of it. If you are bi-vocational, try to schedule time off from your primary job to coincide with days out of the church office.

Close the church office.

It may be too late to do it this year, but begin planning to close the church office between Christmas and New Year’s Day annually. It is not a vacation because work still gets done, but there is no more dead week of the year than week-52. Sitting in the office waiting for phone calls that never come is a waste of time. Turn down the heat, close the office, and save the church some money.

When Christmas or Christmas Eve falls on Sunday bring everyone together for a combined service.

Some churches cancel services on Christmas, but I think there’s a better solution: bring everyone together—birth to senior adults—and have an informal, abbreviated service with carols, prayer, and a short, encouraging message. When I last pastored a church, such services lasted 45 minutes from start to finish. Kids sat in the floor, some brought new toys they had received. We had great responses.

Use a Advent reader/devotional guide as a family.

This is good advice for anyone, of course, but it helps the pastor’s family, too. Whether you gather nightly or 2-3 times a week leading up to Christmas, focusing together on the Christmas story with your family can be a highlight of the season. When your kids are old enough share the reading between them.

Christmas is an amazing time of year. Even with the secular trappings I find myself caught in the wonder of the incarnation, year after year after year. Take these first few days of December to remember why we celebrate and commit to celebrate and worship the Christ of the manger, the cross, empty tomb, and the crown, and commit to keeping Him central during this season.

If you are struggling with the stress of ministering during the Christmas season and would like to talk with someone, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Pastoral PTSD

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Pastoral PTSD

By J.A. Medders

Pastor Ted plops down in his peeling “leather” office chair, opens his Gmail, swigs his Coke Zero, and reads a two-sentence email from a church member: “Hey, can we meet? I’d like to talk you about something.” Depending on the state of Ted’s heart, he will either be encouraged or exhausted—maybe worried fearful of what’s about to happen.

I’ve been Pastor Ted. Have you?

The Common Pain of Being a Pastor

It’s not uncommon for pastors to have lurking suspicions toward vague and brief requests for a meeting. Why? Well, many pastors have shrapnel and scars from the ministry. When a pastor goes through a storage unit of skirmishes, he might pick up a flinch along the way. Pastors who have been through the fire, the storm, and the hard fought battles—some needed, others ugly and unbiblical—will often come down with this peculiar lack of faith. While I’ve never played a doctor on television, I have a diagnosis: I call it Pastoral Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here’s my trauma. At twenty-five years old I became the Lead Pastor of a two-year old church plant. I had no idea I was placing my heart on an ant-bed. While I was already a part of the church, no one expected I’d become the Lead Pastor they were searching for. Nor did I. Dozens of families peacefully left the church after I was installed; it’s like they heard the fat lady sing. I would be lying if I didn’t say it bothered me. But I get why they left. Most of them had been married longer than I had been alive. I was a whippersnapper. But this isn’t what shellshocked me. My church became a street-fight and I wasn’t ready. As if it weren’t bad enough that people left by the dozens and the church finances went cliff diving in shallow water, the personal attacks were jarring.

Here Are My Scars

I’ll never forget when a well respected man in our church and city, came to my office to chat. It was an ambush. Before I knew it, he’s calling me arrogant for not agreeing with him that Adam of Eden wasn’t a real person. “I thought you’d be different and listen to older guys?” He goes on to say how he doesn’t like how I became the Lead Pastor of his church. I can say that I wasn’t too thrilled myself with the position in that moment either! “I’m only staying because I have friends here,” he said. “I can’t imagine you’ll make it anyways.”

One lady wrote to me in an email, even though she said she didn’t mean to be rude, “You are all about yourself. You don’t care about people wanting to know Jesus.”

I remember getting groceries with my daughter when another woman came up to me and said, “I liked going to your church, but you were just too young for us. My husband just couldn’t respect you.” And this was after former members were avoiding me on the previous aisle.

A small group leader eventually left the church because my wife didn’t wave back to him—or see him—while she was chasing our daughter across the cafetorium of the Junior High.

One man stood by my side and advocated for me during the interview process to become the Lead Pastor, only to pull the Benedict Arnold option after my ordination, spreading gossip and doubt among the church.

I could go further, but I think you get the point: Christians, who I thought you were my friends, made me their enemy. Pastoring became a game of Minesweeper. Meeting here, counseling there, going well, and then kaboom. Reset. Bang.

One day, it all came crashing down. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was sick of crawling through the razor-wire of pastoral ministry. While crying in my car, I managed to mumble out a prayer, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. Would you please do something? I won’t make it, this church won’t make it, unless you do something.”

He did. He heard my mumble. The church finances recovered. The troops retreated. But once the dust settled, I already learned a new set of unfortunate skills for the next couple of years of pastoral ministry. Similar to signs in a parking lot: hide, take, lock. Hide in my office, take precautions, and lock the door. I began to pull back from the sheep, fearing their bark and bite. I locked myself away in my study, only taking the time to pastor the people that I knew weren’t a risk.

Whenever an email, a text, or a quick, “Can we get together this week?” was tossed my way, I immediately ducked for cover. I could feel my heart recoil and my soul would get uneasy. What are they upset about? What did I do? Are they leaving? I bet they are leaving. This reflex paralyzed me. I became like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Whenever I heard the meeting bell ring, I prepared for another disappointing and painful encounter—even if it weren’t true. A full-scale retreat was in motion. Everything felt like a crisis. Everything made me cringe.

Have you been there? Are you there?

Staring Fear In The Face

Not surprisingly, this disorder in my heart led to disorder in my ministry. I found it difficult to connect with people in the church. They felt like potential spies, waiting to execute their orders. “Et tu Brute?” I thought I was surrounded by a bunch of Brutuses instead of Barnabases. While I used to be outgoing, extroverted and playful, I became guarded, introverted, crusty. I didn’t have problems enjoying the company of other pastors and leaders outside of our church. I knew they weren’t out to get me. I trusted them. I knew we were on the same team. We are in similar trenches. But it was the Sunday morning worship service that felt like walking through a haunted house.

I wasn’t mature enough to admit it then, but looking back, I feared the people in our church. For about 3 years, I was terrified of them and hid it by faking toughness, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.” But of course I did. We all do to a certain degree. My heart and mind developed an allergic reaction to the sheep. The closer they got, the itchier I became. I was scared. Some of the sheep seemed like KGB operatives, while others really were kindness in animation.

After 3 years of war, the conflict was purged from the land. The church was experiencing the peace of God, but I was still uneasy. The flinch abideth. Whenever a new, gracious, and supportive church member wanted to get lunch, my stomach would turn. Even though no one gave me an inkling that an insurrection was coming over a salad, it didn’t matter. I was suspicious. I was fearful. I was lacking love. Something was wrong. Something was wrong with me. I became a man of little faith.

His Power Is Perfect In Our Weakness

The reason a pastoral flinch took residence in my heart is that I ceased to believe God’s grace was enough for me in all of these things. Paul endured more difficulties and ministry battles than I can fathom. He asked the Lord to make it easier on him, and what did our Lord say?

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:8–10).

In the wake of attacks, insults and calamities, I failed to believe what we teach little children. I am weak but he is strong. Therefore, I am strong because his power is made perfect in my weakness. I didn’t believe the Lord was at work in me.

Faith is the antidote to pastoral PTSD.

The gospel and the gospel’s glorious gifts bring rejuvenating sanity to pastors. Once 2 Cor. 12:8–10 began to rest on my heart and mind, I could look back at the first three years of my ministry and not refer to it as the First Baptist Chernobyl. I could look back with contentment and thanksgiving—and even, “Boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God refined me in those years.

The Gospel Is Your Sanity

As soon as I stared my lack of faith in the face, it began to flee. Joy returned as soon as I believed my identity in Christ is more valuable and precious than my ideas of what ministry should be like. My grip loosened on my dreams, and my hands were raised in praise to him. When I began to have faith that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28) and that a mob of angry church folk can’t separate me from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35), excitement and eagerness bloomed again. The glory of Christ gave me faith in future grace to go out and provide, protect, feed, and shepherd his people. He never left me, and never will. I didn’t have to be afraid anymore; I’ve been crucified with Christ, and it’s no longer I who live, but Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me, lives in me (Gal. 2:20). The gospel I preached was—and is—the gospel I need.

Church members, please love your pastors. Honor your pastors—outdo them in showing honor (Rom. 12:10).  Respect and esteem your pastors. “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12–13). Pray for them. Make it a joy for them to pastor you.

Brother Pastor, if you suffering from what has happened to you. Do not fear. Put your trust in the one who’s handled your past, present, and future. You too have a faithful and sympathetic High Priest, the Man of Sorrows, that you point the sheep to. Cry out to him, “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Ps. 56:1–4).

God’s grace toward you is not in vain. He is your sanity, stability, and Savior. He himself will restore you, and empower your for where you are and what lies ahead. “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10–11). May the risen Christ strengthen you in your ministry for his glory, your good, and his church’s good.

If you would like to talk to someone about your struggles in ministry, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

Counseling for Pastors

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You, Yes You, Need to Get Counseling

You can’t afford not to.

The Secret Pain of Pastors

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Ministry can be a wonderful calling filled with joy and celebration. Ministry can also be a place of discouragement, loneliness, and sorrow.

All too many pastors and ministry leaders can feel isolated and unable to express their suffering because of fears – some realistic and some unrealistic – of what could happen to them or the members of the congregations they serve if people knew of their personal struggles. Having served in ministry (full time and bivocational) for almost a decade, I (Seth) can empathize with this difficult perceived situation.

If you are in ministry and would like to come to a safe environment to discuss your struggles, receive encouragement, learn skills to enhance your balancing of ministry and life, or all of the above, there are men and women at CornerStone Family Services here for you.

If you would like to gift your church leaders with an opportunity to encounter this kind of spiritual and soul-nourishing experience, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 614-459-3003.

For more on the struggles of those in ministry, check out this article from LifeWay Christian Resources:

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Thom Rainer Reveals the Secret Pain of Pastors

By Thom Rainer

Not all the news about pastors is discouraging.

Pastors feel privileged to be called to their places of ministry. They have a deep love for those they shepherd. Most of them could not conceive of doing anything else. This dedication to their pastoral commitments may encourage more people to actually take the time to support pastor appreciation day so that those that put others before themselves are aware of how much they are valued in their community.

But please hear me: Many pastors are hurting.

LifeWay Research conducted a national survey of Protestant pastors. Among the questions they asked were two related to the hurts I noted above.

The Discouragement Factor

One of the key symptoms of the pain experienced by pastors is discouragement. More than one-half (55 percent) of pastors are presently discouraged.

I suspect that if we surveyed pastors over just a few months, we would find almost all of them experience deep discouragement.

Some interesting facts we discovered in our study:

  • There was no pattern of discouragement related to the geographical location of the church.
  • There was no pattern of discouragement related to the size of the church.
  • There was no pattern of discouragement related to the educational level of the pastor.
  • There was a significant pattern of discouragement related to the age of the pastor. The younger the pastor, the more likely he was to be discouraged.

The Loneliness Factor

Most pastors experience intense loneliness at times.

When we conducted our survey, more than one-half again (coincidentally the same number, 55 percent, as noted above) said they were lonely. Again remember that this survey was for a specific point in time.

Which pastors experience the greatest amount of loneliness? Our study noted some discernible patterns:

  • There was no pattern of loneliness related to the geographical location of the church.
  • Younger pastors were more likely to be lonely than older pastors.
  • The larger the church, the greater the likelihood the pastor was experiencing loneliness.
  • The greater the education level of the pastor, the more likely he is to be lonely.

Why the Pervasive Discouragement and Loneliness?

Why are so many pastors struggling today? In an earlier article I wrote on pastoral depression, I noted the following possible reasons:

Spiritual warfare.

The Enemy does not want God’s servants to be effective in ministry. He will do whatever it takes to hurt ministers and their ministries.

Unrealistic expectations.

The expectations and demands upon a pastor are enormous. They are unrealistic. But if one person’s expectations are not met, that person can quickly let the pastor know he is a failure.

Greater platforms for critics.

In “the good old days,” a critic was typically limited to telephone, mail and in-person meetings to criticize a minister. Today, critics have the visible and pervasive platforms of email, blogs and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Failure to take time away from the church or place of ministry.

Workaholism leads to burnout. Burnout leads to depression.

Marriage and family problems.

Too often the pastor neglects his family as he cares for the larger church family.

Financial strains.

Many pastors simply do not have sufficient income from the churches they serve. That financial stress can lead to depression. Some pastors do not know how to manage the money they do have, leading to further financial strain.

The problem of comparison.

Every pastor will always know of a church that is larger and more effective. Every pastor will always know of another pastor who seems more successful. The comparison game can be debilitating to some pastors.

This one thing I do know: Pastors need our prayers more than ever. They need our support and encouragement. I am committed to pray for my pastor every day, even if it’s only for a minute or so.

Will you do the same? Our pastors pour out their lives for us daily. What can you do to help our pastors?