Issue #44: One of the Greatest Factors in Pastors Washing Out of Ministry
I had a conversation this week with my friend and co-worker, Brandon Sutton. We were on the way to visit with a church member whose husband unexpectedly passed away this past week. It is a sad situation.
On our way over to her house, the conversation turned to a podcast he had listened to that discussed the PTSD level pastors often experience. A study was conducted that described the effects of continuous levels of stress and trauma pastors endure in the ministry. Pastors deal with conflict, big decisions, grief, and other issues when leading their congregation. But they also experience the loss of relationships with people who leave the church for one reason or another, without ever getting closure from those relationships. The study compared it to experiencing deaths. Most pastors, even in smaller churches, experience hundreds of these types of losses.
The challenge of pastoring is immense, and not for the faint at heart. This is why pastors need community with other pastors. Without community, pastors will never last the long haul in ministry.
That is the subject of this week’s newsletter.
Communicator, Leader, Counselor, & Everything Else
Consider the number of roles a pastor must play.
He must be a good communicator. If a pastor can’t preach well, he won’t make it long in a church.
He must be a good leader. The pastor has to work through all the things other organizations deal with such as team building, finances, making decisions, accomplishing goals, etc.
He must counsel people. Pastors counsel everyone from those grieving to broken marriages. These are not always easy situations to navigate and consume a lot of emotional energy.
In addition to the skills the pastor must have to pastor well, he is expected to do any and everything else that needs to get done. Often, these expectations come with pay that is below the skills required to execute them.
This is why many pastors eventually quit. This is why many pastors burnout. Ministry expectations take a toll on the pastor’s physical, spiritual, and emotional health. This is why pastors need to have community with other pastors.
1 Actionable Tip
Make time to fellowship with other pastors (whether on staff or outside your church)
because they know the stress and pressures you face.
Pastors understand pastors. We know the stresses and pressures our other brothers face. We need to have friendships and community with each other often enough to be encouragers to one another. In order to run the race and go the distance, we must endure hardships and frustrations. One of the ways we can keep those challenges from sinking us is having others who know them well to encourage us to keep going. Find some pastor friends. Make it a priority to grab coffee or lunch regularly. Use the time to share war stories and laugh together. It's good for the soul.
Opportunities for Students & College Age Young Adults
Are you helping the students and college-age kids in your church stand firm against the opposition coming at them in the culture? If you’re not actively equipping them on issues of gender and sexuality, you can be sure the culture is. We’re here to help.
Join us October 13-15 at Black Mountain, NC (at Ridgecrest Conference Center). An incredible line of speakers will be teaching students about who they are as image-bearers of God. These foundations will supply students with important understanding of their identity. Plan to bring your students. It’s going to be a fantastic conference.
And we have our Arise Camps for students summer 2024. These resources exist to help keep your students in the fight. Partner with us in helping them fight the good fight of faith in a world that wants to snuff it out.