Feelings of Failure

How do you measure success when there's no apparent scale?
Feelings of Failure

We are highlighting Leadership Journal's Top 40, the best articles of the journal's 36-year history. We will be presenting them in chronological order. Today we present #30, from 1987.

A sense of failure in the ministry can pervade all areas of a pastor's life, and spouses particularly share that darkness. In this article, Kent and Barbara Hughes provide two sides of their experience with Kent's struggle over his apparently unsuccessful ministry. Kent begins:

During seminary I began ten years of ministry in my family church, first as youth pastor and then as associate pastor. This was in the late sixties-restless, unsettled, but a time of wonderful spiritual harvest.

The highlight of that ministry is captured in a five-by-seven photograph hanging in the hallway of our home. The photo was taken in 1968 in Parker, Arizona, during our high schoolers' Easter outreach week at the Colorado River. In the foreground are five young men posed on a boat trailer. They're ...

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