Mark Driscoll calls them “Bread Truck Mondays:” a Sunday that was so difficult or draining that the day after makes a pastor wish he were anything but a pastor—even the driver of a bread truck. Not every pastor wants to quit all the time, but from time to time, discouragement sets in, and often it’s hard for pastors to find a safe, anonymous place to talk about it. I took an informal poll asking for the reasons pastors want to quit.
Here are the top reasons pastors want to quit
1. To Protect My Family
Sometimes, the pastor’s family will sacrifice in ways that make the pastor want to give it up for an easier or, frankly, more lucrative job. One pastor, discouraged by his young church’s inability to pay him a decent salary, responded that he feels like he is being a terrible provider.
Another friend who has moved into a difficult neighborhood to be an incarnational presence there cited drug dealers in his neighborhood as a reason he’s wanted to quit. Difficult days can make you question your call to take the Gospel to the hard places.
Often, pastors feel attacked on all sides. It’s certainly one of the top reasons pastors want to quit. One friend of mine replied to my question with simply the words “sinful criticism,” which he later described as “criticism that is nit-picky and comes from a consumeristic church culture.”
3. The Hard Work of Shepherding
For one church planter, it was the difficult realization that after you “launch” the church, you have to actually pastor people. His response: “Coming to the reality we can’t just make cool websites, network in the community and launch a church. We actually have to do the hard work of shepherding.”