Pete, Perry, and Pastors in general.

Pastor Pete Wilson resigned from Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee…the church he founded in 2003 and which grew into a congregation of 7000 people.  He’s a great pastor, author, and person.  The reason for the resignation?  Weariness, burnout, tiredness, and brokenness brought on by the pressures of being a pastor.

Pastor Perry Noble resigned from New Spring Church in Anderson, South Carolina…the church he founded in 2000 and which grew into a congregation of 32,000 people.  He’s a great pastor, author, and person.  The reason for his resignation?  Alcohol abuse brought on by the pressures of being a pastor.

Two fine preachers.  Two fine pastors.  Two burned-out lives.  Two suffering families.  Two empty pulpits.

And it’s not just the “big church” pastors.  Sadly, this is becoming the norm in American churches.

Some people say pastors have it easy.  Hey, they only work one day a week, right?  (By the way, pastors HATE that “joke”.)  Pastors see and deal with more pain, grief, blood, gore, chaos, craziness,and death in a month than the average person will see and deal with in a lifetime.

Granted, some pastors DO have it easy.  They’ve built churches on great marketing and “how to have a great life” preaching that tickles the ears of their congregants. They set their own salaries, make lots of money, drive nice cars, live in gated communities, send their kids to the best schools, have the best health care, and travel the world.

But this is NOT the norm for most pastors.

While ALL jobs are hard (including yours), a pastor’s job, while maybe not harder than your job, is at least as hard as your job.  You try…

  • keeping wandering people lined up with the vision God has given you for the church,
  • resolving conflicts between selfish congregants,
  • challenging people to say “no” to their comfort, consumerism, and convenience and say “yes” to following Jesus,
  • attempting to make 50, 500, or 5000 people happy all the time,
  • changing your personality to adapt to the personalities of 50, 500, or 5000 other people,
  • making sure the church’s bills get paid,
  • exhorting people to read their Bibles, pray, and be generous,
  • and then, spending 15-20 hours a week hovering over the Bible and theology books preparing a sermon that they pray with every fiber of their being will point someone to Jesus that weekend.

Heck, just try getting the average church member to come to worship two weeks in a row!

Perhaps it’s time for church Leadership Teams, Pastoral Search committees, Elders, Deacons, Finance Committees, and Personnel committees to get schooled in how to minister to and take care of their pastors and their families.

Pastors shouldn’t have to beg for a livable wage, decent healthcare, or time off.  He and his family should be able to live at least at the level the average person in his congregation lives.  Here’s two great links for more information…

http://www.lifeway.com/pastors/2016/09/16/6-things-church-members-need-to-know-about-pastor-burnout/

http://www.soulshepherding.org/pastors-under-stress

So we pray for Pete and Perry and a thousand other weary pastors today.

And for my fellow pastors:  Follow your God-given vision.  Preach well-prepared Gospel-centered messages that exalt Christ.   Shepherd the flock God has entrusted to you.  Take care of yourself and your family.  Finish the course.

 

 

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~ by jackpickel on September 20, 2016.

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