Any pastor would forfeit his housing allowance for a handful of people like Brad (not his real name). He attended church faithfully, missing only when sick or out of town. He brought his Bible and listened eagerly to sermons, frequently affirming me when something I said encouraged him. He volunteered for the most mundane tasks. I never heard him complain.
But the longer I knew Brad, the more I wondered. As much as he threw himself into every facet of church life, he somehow seemed spiritually shallow.
One day Brad vented his anger and frustration in my office. "I'm worn out and burned up," he said. "I've given and given, and I don't feel I'm getting anything in return. I hate myself for feeling this way."
Together we found that Brad's service was an attempt to compensate for a deep sense of inadequacy.
Some who seem most committed--even some I would hold up as good examples--prove ultimately to be serving out of their need, not their fullness.
After crossing paths with too many others like ...1