Being a pastor of a local church is not for the faint of heart! We lead organizations that carry the most important message on earth, that Jesus is the one and only Savior of the world. The eternal stakes could not be higher.
We pastors were attracted to pastoral ministry because God tugged at our hearts, we saw a needy world, and we believed he could use us to be part of the solution. Most of us were motivated by a pure, God-given desire to help people.
Yet we can be caught off guard when opposition nips at our heels, or worse, rip our heads off! Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised by the difficulties because we’ve been warned, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) We pastors should pay special attention to Jesus’ warning because we are the ones who stand out in front, leading our congregations.
Consider these factors:
* Your church intentionally attracts hurting people. And hurting people often hurt other people, even the ones who try to help them. You have been called to move toward their mess and that can get messy!
*Every person in your congregation suffers from the same disease – a fallen sinful nature. They are capable of listening to its toxic deceptions and using words that cut into your soul. They are also capable of listening to the toxic words of other church members. You may have had to do the math: toxic + toxic = toxic2
* We have a formidable enemy who hates God and everyone close to Him. As a pastor, you have a bull’s eye painted on your chest and an enemy who is an expert marksman. He will make ministry so unbearable that you will consider walking away. But remember, it’s called spiritual warfare, and it’s why you must put on your armor daily.
*You can be your own worst enemy. You can suffer from emotional exhaustion, poor health, being blinded by your own spotlight, an unsustainable schedule, sexual enticements, an unsupportive spouse, and on it goes ad nauseam. Some of my worst ministry problems contained an element of my own failures. Some of yours probably do too.
*Sometimes, leaders on the same team can’t get along. The apostles, Paul and Barnabas, Peter and Paul, the Corinthian church, Euodia and Syntyche – they all knew what it was to fight with one another. If you’ve been a pastor for a while, you have likely seen a staff war. Perhaps you have some scars. Perhaps you are engaged in one now.
Pastor, you are desperately needed for the long haul. The stakes are eternally high and you matter in God’s plan. You have no greater honor than to be a junior partner with him in the building of his church.
This is why Grace Valley exists: to minister grace to you.
We know what it feels like, we’ve been there too. We have been hurt, been wounded, wanted to quit, and struggled with our own glaring inadequacies. We love being able to run the race with you and together fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Join a group, engage in honest discussion, seek encouragement from other pastors, offer wisdom and experience to them, contact us and let us help you do what God has called you to do.