Struggles (From my drafts 3 years ago)

Posted: December 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

I found this in my drafts from almost three years ago. Ministry apparently doesn’t get any easier, but God is still sovereign!

 

It’s been a while since I have written anything here.  I’m not a writer, I’m not good at commas, I’m not even good with starting new paragraphs, but I do have many thoughts and sometimes I just want to get them on paper (or a computer screen).

I have been in ministry now for about 10 years and if there is one thing I have learned is that it doesn’t get any easier.  For years the phrase “Ministry is Messy,” has circulated throughout the church world.  It has almost become a phrase that is looked over or watered down because we have heard it so much, but the truth of the matter is ministry is indeed messy.

Pastors generally see more than any other person would see, they hear more than any other person would hear and know more than any other person would know.  Pastors usually carry a heavy weight bearing the burdens of so many people in their churches.  On top of carrying the burden of the members, they are often doing so much behind the scenes that people never see, yet they are told they don’t do anything during the week.  All a pastor, youth pastor or worship pastor does is come up with a sermon from the Bible or come up with a few songs right? Right and wrong!

Pastors, youth pastors and worship pastors are some of the hardest working people you will ever come across.  There are a few exceptions, but for pastors that are serious about their calling and their love for people the workload is often overlooked.  Someone in ministry doesn’t go home and unplug from the day’s work like most people do when they clock out and go home.  Pastors and others in ministry work 24/7.  The emails come in “after hours,” the text messages, the phone calls, etc… Not to mention the burdens they still carry for people in their congregations, the chairs they set up, the maintenance they perform, the hospital visits and yet even more.

The biggest responsibility a pastor has is his family.  Many people for get that pastors are in fact people that have families.  A pastor has to be able to love Jesus and his family well.  Often times a pastors family suffers due to the daunting task  placed on him by the church family.  Many think the church work comes before anything else and this simply isn’t true.  Scripture is filled with the mandate that it’s God first and family second, ministry to the church comes later.  Sadly, many churches don’t see it this way which leads to pastor burnout or even worse, a family burnout.

How do we get this right? We first have to realize and understand that just because a pastor isn’t doing physical, manual labor all of the time doesn’t mean he isn’t working hard.  The emotional and spiritual tole a pastor takes leads to a physical tole on his body and he feels like he has worked 168 hours driving cattle from point A to point B on horseback non stop.

We also have to realize that just because we don’t “see” a pastor working doesn’t mean he isn’t working.  As mentioned earlier, most people think that all a pastor does is come up with a sermon, or a few songs to sing on Sunday.  We have to erase that thinking from our minds and start to think through ways to help the pastor with his workload.

As we think through helping the pastor with his workload, we should also think through ways to help him with his family.  Could you keep the kids while he and his wife went on a date, could you take the dog for a walk, clean the house, make a meal, etc… There is nothing better than someone that cares about the pastors family by helping them in any way possible.

Anyone that is in ministry will tell you that at times it seems to be a daunting task.  We are dealing with the total depravity of man and at times see the worst in people.  As we seek to teach the Bible, proclaim the Gospel and see people saved by the grace of God, we do it out of love for God and a love for people.  It’s a tough job without all of the added pressures, but we do it with a smile in public, and a heavy burden that weighs us down in private.

Pastors and other ministry leaders serve out of love because they are called.  It is one of the most thankless jobs on earth, but one with great reward.  I encourage you to pray for your pastor, look over your preconceived ideas about who he is or what he does, pray for his family and do it out of love, not envy or hate.  Get to know him and you might find out that he is much different than you thought.

 

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