Title















Site Registration | FInd a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map | Search the Site
The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Most significant struggles for pastors
The life is fulfilling but not always easy
 
Published Sunday, April 6, 2014
by Thom S. Rainer, Baptist Press

Before me are handwritten notes that I took over a few weeks from various social media interactions, emails and a few phone calls. The total is nearly 200 separate communications to me. I kept a record of them for one simple reason: I wanted to identify the greatest pain points of pastors today.

 

In many ways, there are no surprises. Indeed, I doubt most of you will be surprised at my findings. If nothing else, it is a good reminder of how we can help our pastors and how we can pray for them. Of course, you will quickly see that they are not mutually exclusive. They are listed in the order of frequency I noted.

1. Criticism and conflict

I have a few observations about this No. 1 issue. First, it seems to be growing, and pastors seem to be experiencing greater challenges. Second, most of the issues of conflict are not doctrinal issues. Indeed, most are trivial issues. Finally, very few pastors are equipped and trained to deal with the steady stream of critics and crises.

2. Family problems

Many pastors struggle with expectations by church members of their spouses or children. Others struggle with finding time for their families. Many pastors’ families struggle with the “glass house” syndrome.

3. Stress

The pastor’s life is one of emotional highs and lows. It includes critics and adoring fans. Expectations from church members can be unreasonable. The very nature of a pastor’s call into ministry can lend itself to seemingly unending stress.

4. Depression

Every time I write about this topic, I hear from countless pastors and staff. Depression is pervasive in pastoral ministry. And it is often the “secret” problem.

5. Burnout

Local church ministry can attract two broad types of persons: the lazy and the workaholic. Accountability is often low, and it can be easy to get away with little work, or to work 70-plus hours a week. I see more of the latter than the former.

6. Sexual problems

These problems are most often in one of two categories: pornography or marital unfaithfulness.

7. Financial problems

Most of the world hears about the few pastors who make huge salaries. The reality is that the majority of pastors struggle financially.

8. Time management

Expectations of pastors can be unrealistic. Pastors are often expected to attend multiple meetings, to visit countless congregants, to prepare sermons with excellence, to provide ongoing strategic leadership, to conduct weddings and funerals, and to be involved in the community. Many pastors don’t know how or when to say “no.” And many are not good at delegating, or they really don’t have anyone who can handle some of their responsibilities.

Most pastors love their callings. Most pastors enjoy most of what they do in ministry. And most pastors wouldn’t change their role if they could. Still, many have ongoing challenges and struggles. And many would gladly receive help from church members, a word of encouragement from most anyone, and the knowledge that others are praying for them.

Comments

Leave a Comment


Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all
20

High Octane Holiday Movies - Polar Express

Explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame and then catch

20

Rockin' & Racin' Exhibit

Get ready for a jam session like no other at the

20

Community Blood Drive

Free movie ticket! During the month of

Latest News

read all

Court upholds GOP-drawn districts

State remap meets constitutional standard

Camille Cosby stands by her man

Bill Cosby's wife blasts rape allegations

Proposal targets racial profiling

Bill draft would hold police accountable