There are some real and unfair parts and pieces of being a pastor! I get that, but I am no longer sympathetic to that headlines and/or storylines — “Why Pastors Are Buring Out!” “The Great Reshuffle” “Should You Be Looking For Another Ministry or Job?” “Is It Time To Retire Early?”
Just had a friend and fellow pastor tell me again how hard it is to be a local church pastor! In fact, we left a church well over a year ago after a pastor had the non-sensical ignorance to tell the congregation that the lesson he had learned through Covid was that he never realized how tired he was. Never mind, the people who had lost jobs, were sick, and/or had enough fears already through the mess that was only beginning.
When the “coach” of the team says that he needs to sit on the bench and rest, the team is hardly inspired for the game on the everyday field!
It’s about him! That’s the real problem. While fellow leaders and staff commiserate with him and laud his years in ministry — God’s people struggle, with little genuine pastoral concern or care. Such words from the pulpit are designed to generate sympathy for and praise of his valiant struggle as the shepherd with a heart for the people. He wouldn’t have chosen this job or be doing this work, had not the Lord called him. He is sacrificing for others!
Honestly — I am tired — but I’m tired of ministry leaders and pastors bemoaning their calling! Yes, their calling into one of the greatest joys of life — working with and alongside God’s people, on one of the many fronts of the battle for the Gospel!
Here is what I say in response when I hear such words . . . . .
“You’re tired.” “It’s hard!” — Really!
We need to get some Afganhni pastors to write these articles about ministry burnout, exhaustion, resignation, and the like. Let’s have pastors who don’t know if they or their family will be alive in the morning. Let’s have pastors from third-world hot spots write about how they lay away at night and don’t know if their daughter is coming home, or has been raped! Yes, they might have reason to talk like American pastors who are wearied by far — far — far lesser concerns!
These are pastors, who are challenging everyone else to trust the Lord, be understanding, love others where they are, care and love your neighbor, and be more compassionate . . . . and they are tired – stressed out — worn thin — emotionally threadbare — struggling.
I’m glad Daniel, Joseph, Ruth, Mordecai, Nehemiah, and Paul didn’t say to the troops — “I’m Tired!” “This Is Hard.” or “I Need A Sabbatical.”
What happened to “Dare to Be A Daniel,” “There Is Joy In Serving Jesus,” “Battle From Victory, Not To Victory.”?
“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?”
Jeremiah 12: 5