Jump directly to the content
Aug 23, 2016
pastors, leadership

The Pressure Of The Pastorate

In order to truly flourish, pastors need authentic and safe friendships. |
The Pressure Of The Pastorate

Wow. I spoke with another friend and megachurch pastor who was removed from his church last month. As a leadership coach and pastor to pastors, it breaks my heart and causes me to lose sleep every time. What happened? Nothing really. Life. The gravitational pull. Pressure. Pride. That’s what happened.

At the end of the day, the ministry model so common in our day tends to lend itself for this to happen. One thing is sure...this is us, except by the grace of God. This is us, if we’re not careful. This is some of us if we keep going the way we’re going. To finish well, we will need to fight against the gravitational pull, and beat our bodies into submission.

This is our call: “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).

The #1 mistake I see pastors make is living in isolation. We don’t mean to, but we just get busy, overcommitted, overextended, exhausted, and sometimes even numb. After a long week of ministry, many of us just want to go home and binge on Netflix or self-medicate in some other way.

What’s missing in the lives of many megachurch pastors I know is genuine friendship, camaraderie, koinonia, and intimacy. We are missing relationships that are FOR us and WITH us, not just BEHIND us or UNDER us.

Jesus is our greatest example. Why did He pick the 12 apostles? Mark 3:14 tells us: “And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach…”

Even Jesus knew He needed people with Him and for Him. What do pastors really need? If there was one value I would list above all others it’s this: friends. Not acquaintances, but really great friends that we respect and admire and who understand us. We need friends who are dealing with what we’re dealing with and understand the pressure. We need friends who have walked where we will walk and have the scars to prove it, friends who will challenge us and hold us accountable. There is great pressure in the pastorate, but it doesn’t have to break us.

Ecclesiastes 4:12b says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Pastors, let us not break. Let us not give up. Let us finish well and finish together. Let us stick together and do life together. Let us run the race in such a way that we don’t disqualify ourselves and pray for revival together. Let us see God pour out His Spirit in our lives and in our churches.

I am all for the Great Commission but not at the expense of the Great Commandment. Pastors, let us not just love God; let us also love each other. Let us stop criticizing, critiquing, and isolating ourselves from each other. If you haven’t yet, it is time to get some friends and mentors. Success is found in many counselors. If I can help, let me know.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Related Topics:None
Posted:August 23, 2016 at 9:36 am

Comments

Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment on Facebook.

More From This Blog

Engaging in Dialogue: A Response from a Former Marine, Police Officer, and Pastor on Kaepernick

Engaging in Dialogue: A Response from a Former Marine, Police Officer, and Pastor on Kaepernick

When one person’s rights are violated, everyone’s rights are in jeopardy.
3 Ways Pastors and Church Leaders Undermine Themselves on Social Media

3 Ways Pastors and Church Leaders Undermine Themselves on Social Media

Church leaders need to be in social media spaces
John the Baptist and Baptism (Theology for Life)

John the Baptist and Baptism (Theology for Life)

Hosted by Drs Ed Stetzer and Lynn Cohick
20 Truths from "God's Country"

20 Truths from "God's Country"

Reclaiming God’s kingdom vision for the rural church

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

Dr. John Sorensen, President of Evangelism Explosion International, a ministry that has trained millions of Christians around the world to share Christ, discusses the state of evangelism, research on evangelism trends, as well as myths and methods of evangelism.

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
The Pressure Of The Pastorate