I figured today was a good day to start.
It goes with the job description for ministers. Pastors and priests are the one person that most people rely on for those momentous events – marriage, baptism, communion, death. They tend to wear too many hats, not just the preacher one that they wear on Sunday’s.
They are the counselor for those having a crisis in faith, marriage issues, new divorcee, pre-marital counseling, those trying to fight an addiction. Sadly, they are also the ones that people go to when dealing with depression. Instead of going to their doctor for the proper medication to help them balance their hormones, they seek the pastor to guide them through the Word for healing. (I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with going to the Word of God for your healing – but let’s get serious people.)
Did you ever stop to think that perhaps for every single issue that the pastor is there to help you with, they deal with it as well? Who do they have to turn to? Certainly no one in their congregation – even if friendships have developed during their tenure. Another pastor? Not likely, since it then labels them as weak and could jeopardize their own pastorate. (Don’t even argue this one with me – I’ve seen it happen too many times. Pastor’s are one of the proudest people I know.)
What happens when your pastor is running on empty? When they are burnt out, desperate for a rope to pull them in before they lose it all together?
Many pastors that I know won’t admit they need help until it’s too late. They’ll continue to give, even after they’ve given all they’ve got. Their excuse: the church needs them, they are too important, it’s their job or that no one else will do it. Let’s just call it what it is: a false sense of pride.
Now don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a hate on for all pastors. It’s the opposite – because I’ve been there. One thing I’ve realized – the majority of pastors out there tend to be this way because they have to be. It’s how they’re treated, its what their job entails, it’s what expected of them – and if they don’t act like this (even when people say its what they don’t want in a pastor) they 9 times out of 10, that pastor will end up looking for a new church for a fresh start.
If they are burnt out, how effective are they really going to be in their ministry? Not much. Sure, God will still use them, but imagine how effective their ministry really could be if they were allowed to be real? If they were allowed to be human, not placed on a pedestal with the sharks just waiting for them to fall?
It’s a thought. Tell me what you think.