Thursday, June 01, 2006

What wears a Pastor down

I don’t think that the average lay person really understands the stress and pressure that is involved in being a pastor. I mean, how could they if they have never experienced it? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing in this world that I would rather do than to fulfill my calling to pastor a local church. I love it, especially here at Grace Church. Most of the time, pastoring is extremely enjoyable and eternally rewarding. But over the nearly 20 years that I have been a pastor, I must admit that I have discovered some things that can tend to steal the joy of being a pastor. Below are just a few examples:

  1. Hearing through the grapevine that someone in your church is in disagreement with or offended by something that you have said or done but instead of coming to you about it, they have shared their opinions with others.
  2. The lack of positive feedback. So often in our culture today we are quick to communicate when we don’t like something in the church but often we fail to take the time to share when we do like something or when God uses something about the ministry of the local church in our lives.
  3. When people never tell you about a need or upcoming trauma in their life and then communicate their hurt that you never contacted them or showed any concern.
  4. When you “take it on the chin” because you choose to protect others by not airing out someone else’s “dirty laundry,” even if they were at fault.
  5. When people in the church expect your kids to be perfect because they are “the pastor’s kids.”
  6. When people in the church have their own self-made expectation of what the pastor should be like and then become disappointed because you don’t exactly measure up to their pre-conceived standard.
  7. When people feel you should be more available to them and their needs, even if it means neglecting your own family.
  8. When people send you written letters of criticism anonymously.
  9. When people judge your motives regarding a decision or comment that you made.
  10. When people confront you on a Sunday morning, right before or right after the church service, with something about the ministry that they are unhappy with.
  11. When people hear a negative or a criticism from another person in the church and believe it without ever coming and talking with you as the pastor about it personally.

No comments: