Last week I visited with a pastor who acknowledged he is living in a cave. He went through a painful exit at his previous church, is suffering with health issues, and his family is struggling with financial challenges. The story could represent anyone who serves in ministry. This pastor added a detail that all of us should heed. He admitted he is living in a cave (Tim’s interpretation). He acknowledged that the pain and discouragement he has experienced has caused him to withdraw. So, at the present moment he is a cave dweller.
The past few weeks I have been supplying for a small church near my home. One Sunday, while returning from this pulpit supply, I pondered the good and bad side of serving as a pastor. For the past six years I have been a servant to pastors rather than a servant to one local church. This has allowed me to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes when you take the distant view of things you see things you never saw before. Thus, I contemplated the things I miss and the things I do not miss about pastoring. Last week I wrote about the things I DON’T miss. This week I will discuss the things I DO miss about being a pastor.
The past few weeks I have been supplying for a small church near my home. One Sunday, while returning from this pulpit supply, I pondered the good and bad side of serving as a pastor. For the past six years I have been a servant to pastors rather than a servant to one local church. This has allowed me to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes when you take the distant view of things you see things you never saw before. Thus, I pondered the things I miss and the things I do not miss about pastoring. This week I will discuss the things I do not miss about being a pastor. Next week, I will discuss the things I miss.
We are facing a new year? With the coming of a New Year we often consider New Year’s resolutions. That means change! (Or does it?) Change is hard to initiate.
Recently I had car trouble. The wheel bearings on the front of our car went out. For weeks before the bearings went out, the car gave a “warning roar.” I thought the sound was coming from a bad tire or poor wheel alignment. However, while speaking with a mechanic he explained the roar was coming from worn wheel bearings. He explained that it was just a matter of time until we found ourselves sitting on the side of the highway in a broken down car. This was an occasion when I was pleased with the “warning roar.” The roar saved either my wife or me from an unexpected break down.
In recent weeks the Shepherds Connection published a series of articles on depression. Depression is often identified with feelings of hopelessness. Also, depression frequently causes a person to question the value of life. Questions such as, “Why am I doing this” float through the mind?
The past several weeks The Shepherd’s Connection has posted articles about depression. Depression is real, but there is hope beyond depression. In fact, there are a number of experiences (termination, burnout, conflict, even holidays, etc.) we face in ministry, which might be viewed as ministry killers. Many people see this with depression. That is absolutely not true.
Three of the hardest words for a pastor to verbalize are the words, “I am Depressed.” These words are like cotton in the mouth. They are hard to verbalize.
Pastor, have you ever stopped to think of all the “stuff” your people have been through before you arrived. This “stuff” affects their church behavior and the extent to which they will follow/not follow you. Their behavior does not mean they are bad people. It means they are carrying a lot of “stuff” (baggage) that must be considered as you work with them.
While sorting through my mail today the first thing I noticed was Outreach magazine. This issue was devoted to the 100 Fastest-Growing Churches in America. This issue always intrigues me. The stories of these churches fascinate me. To read about churches running 20,000-25,000 in attendance is amazing. I marvel at these churches, their pastors, and the ministry they perform.