To say pastoring is difficult would be an understatement. Yet, it’s not difficult in the sense that the work is hard, although it can be at times. It’s difficult in every other sense, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical, because emotional and spiritual stress have a tendency to take a toll on the body.
Don’t get me wrong. There are seasons that can be very joyful, and productive, and motivating, seasons in which you see God’s blessing throughout your church.
Then there can be seasons in which you see no fruit at all, and you wonder why you ever got into this profession. And you start contemplating, is it even worth it?
Then there’s this place you come to as a pastor where the seasons seem to change every day.
On Sunday you are rejoicing because you preached and people gave their lives to Christ, but on Monday you get a call from someone leaving the church, and your rejoicing turns into mourning.
This is the life of a pastor, on the mountain one minute and in the valley the next.
One of the keys to making it in ministry is to not allow yourself to stay in the valley for too long.
You’ll be tempted to stay there. There will be times when you just want to stay in the bed and avoid facing the day.
You have to get past this hurdle and several others along the way.
I’ve found the most common hurdles pastors face fall into these three categories.
- Get Past Your Past
You may have been fired from a previous position. You may have had struggles in your marriage. You may have regrets. We all do, but you can’t dwell on the past because you can’t change the past. You have to focus on what’s right in front of you. The greatest stories in the Bible and in life are stories of people who overcame their past and began to live with purpose.
- Stop Focusing on Others & Their Opinion of You
Too many of us, myself included, give too much power to other’s opinions of us. If they’re not my God, my spouse, or my kid, then their opinion about me doesn’t really matter. We lose too much time and sleep worrying about what someone has said or thinks about us. You can’t please everyone, so focus on pleasing the one’s that matter.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
I blame church boards and terrible bosses for this one. Too many of us are afraid to try something different because we’re afraid of what happens if it doesn’t work out. If you’re in a situation in which you have to fear losing your job if an idea you have doesn’t work out, you need to find a new situation. If that isn’t the case, then take some chances. If it doesn’t work out, at least you learned something.
I’m sure these aren’t the only hurdles pastors face. I’d love to hear yours. So, leave a comment below, and if you like tips on church growth, leadership, and more then make sure to take a second and subscribe to the blog.