I got this in an email from Thom Rainer. Below is a link where you can sign up for his mailing list. #9 is the one most often on my radar.
As a pastor, what thought keeps you “never lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”?
- Many storms pass quickly. I can remember times when I thought the world was crashing in on me. But, in a matter of a few weeks, the storm had passed. Many of the crises of the moment will become faded memories of the past.
- It’s probably not you. Those critics and dissidents see you as a convenient target. They may not really be frustrated at you. But you are the most visible place to unload. It’s probably another issue, and not you.
- The vast majority of the congregation supports you. I know. I’ve seen travesties where a pastor has been forced out by vengeful staff members and misguided personnel committees. But most of the time the minority does not have that power. Remember that the majority of the church members love and support you.
- Remember your call. You likely have a clear recollection of the time God called you to ministry and to this church. Remember that call. At times, it’s what you need to hang in there.
- Longer-term pastors see better days. Sometimes it takes years to earn the leadership trust of the congregation. One of the gifts many pastors need is the gift of perseverance.
- Hurting church members often hurt others. Among those “others” are you, their pastor. Their grief and pain can unfortunately be directed at you.
- It’s not better in other churches. Many pastors get the green grass syndrome. They move from church to church trying to find the church without problems, critics, and challenges. That church does not exist.
- The changing culture frustrates many church members. They remember the “good old days” where almost everyone went to church and change was minimal. They are frustrated and fearful, and they often see you as the problem.
- God is with you. I know you grasp this truth theologically, but you may need to pause to assimilate it experientially. God called you. God loves you. He will not abandon you.
Pastor’s, what thought keeps you going? Tell me in the comments.