Jump directly to the Content

Occupational Hazards

The occupational hazard of the Christian ministry and evangelism is discouragement.
John R. W. Stott
Those whom the Lord has destined for this great office he previously provides with the armor which is requisite for the discharge of it, that they may not come empty and unprepared.
John Calvin

For a year now I have been talking with pastors from across the country about the joys and the discouragements of their ministries. I have sat in the offices of dozens of these church leaders and read surveys from nearly two hundred more.

With some, I have been privileged to share in the high point of their ministries. "After ten years in ministry," wrote one, "my greatest sense of encouragement has come this year. I'm enjoying ministry." I've seen others in deep crevices: "I've never been so discouraged," said a minister in his forties. "This week I sent out twenty-two résumés."

What news can I report from the armloads of surveys and hours of tape?

A combination of good news and bad news.

First, the good ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Is It Time to Quit ‘Quiet Time’?
Is It Time to Quit ‘Quiet Time’?
Effective biblical engagement must be about more than one’s personal experience with Scripture.
Editor's Pick
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Come Ye Pastors, Heavy Laden
Learning to walk under the weight of ministry's many hats.