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Issue #15: Remembering This One Truth Will Help You Make the Best Decisions

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

Disappointment in ministry is not uncommon.

It is actually one of the more shocking things that happens to young pastors. Most go into ministry because they love the Lord and want to help others to know Him.

They are shocked when Christians do things you wouldn’t expect Christians to do.

Pastoral hurt is discounted as just part of the job, but it is good to know how to respond when it happens.

That is the subject of this week’s newsletter.


One of the greatest struggles a pastor faces is when people leave the church over silly reasons.

You walk alongside of people in their hurts, struggles, and afflictions. You never do this so that they owe you anything in return, but there is a subconscious belief that these things build a trust, respect, and credibility with those people.

It’s not that you have them in your debt, but you certainly think it would owe you the benefit of the doubt if there were a misunderstanding or disagreement about lesser things. But that is not always the case.

Head-Scratching Decisions

I have many stories over 17 years of ministry that I could share. One that I learned recently was that a family left our church because, in their opinion, we had hired too many staff members.

They went to another church in town that is smaller than my church but has more staff members. But that isn’t what was the most frustrating. The more frustrating fact is that this married couple almost lost their marriage just a few years ago.

An affair nearly destroyed their marriage. Our church, including our staff, rallied around them. By the grace of God, their marriage was restored. It was an incredible story.

That is the kind of head-scratching thing I’ll never understand. This church walked beside them through horrific circumstances and ministered them back to health only for them to leave over something that seems so trivial and subjective.

But this sort of things happens in ministry. And it hurts.

This is a reminder that pastors must act and lead according to convictions, not opinions. You can’t measure each decision around how you think people will respond. Nor can you let your heart grow skeptical when people turn their back on you for seemingly insignificant reasons.

1 Actionable Tip

Love people, serve them in their hour of need, and lead the church according to your convictions.

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If this means the same people you helped in one moment turn from you over a decision they didn’t like at another moment, then so be it.

You will maintain your integrity and honor God by leading according to your convictions.

At the end of the day, we don’t lead by applause or approval, but by following the Spirit’s leading and convictions.

Take a Next Step to Keep Growing

Whenever you want to take a next step of growing in your leadership, there are lots of ways you can do that.

  1. Individual Coaching. For those who want to get a more tailored coaching experience, this option helps you grow in church leadership skills and solving your church-specific challenges. Sign-up soon, limited spots.
  2. Church Consulting. If your church needs revitalization and desires assistance in developing a vision and strategy for going forward, this option can be great for you. We not only help diagnosis issues but work with you to create a plan and coach you on execution.
  3. Student Ministry Leader Lab. Join us in Nashville August 3-4th for coaching and practical help for leading an effective student ministry. Register here.