Friday, November 13, 2015

"Occupationally Frustrated"

The Presbyterians ordained me for Christian ministry in 1967. For the past forty-eight years, I have had the privilege of serving eight congregations from New York to California. I am still at it.  Yes, I love it. I am privileged to share the message of hope in Jesus Christ.

Do I ever get discouraged? Of course I do. There are plenty of tough times, tough circumstances, and tough people. Fifteen-hundred pastors leave the ministry every month due to burnout, contention or moral failure. That is a big number when you realize there are only 350,000 pastors in America.

George Barna says, “Pastors are the most occupationally frustrated people in America.” Why is that?  The expectations imposed on a pastor are often unrealistic. A pastor is expected to be theologian, counselor, prophet, priest, administrator, fundraiser, worship leader, welfare dispenser, teacher, recruiter, preacher and community catalyst. No wonder ninety percent of pastors feel that they were not adequately trained to cope with ministry demands.

Pastors are supposed to be dispensers of grace. Not all pastors are receivers, as well. Maybe that is part of the reason seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

Every congregation has leaders, followers, comics and critics. That’s why every day I work at replenishing my well of grace.

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