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The Secret Pain of Pastors

3. Betrayal

Trusting church members with personal burdens can backfire. They may end up telling the pastor’s personal issues to others. Staff leaders can take church members away. The pastor trusts a person with the platform or title, and that person uses the influence given to them to take people away. The Judas kiss.

Church staff causing problems is a betrayal. Pastors rightfully think, “I’m paying you to solve problems. I can get new problems for free. I don’t need to pay someone a salary to create them.”

  • Eighty five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members and associate pastors.
  • The #1 reason pastors leave the ministry is that church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction, but the people are not willing to follow or change.
  • Forty percent of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.

We pastors have to find a way, with God’s grace, to love people as if we have never been hurt before.

4. Loneliness

Who’s my friend? Who can I trust? If I tell another pastor my problems, will he criticize me, tell others or just treat me differently?

  • Seventy percent do not have someone they consider a close friend.

Are my friends really my friends or a church member who is a temporary friend who may leave any day now?

Healthy friendships are crucial to a fulfilling life, especially to the wellbeing of a pastor. Put special effort in this area.

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philipwagner@churchleaders.com'
Philip Wagner is Lead Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles and founder of Generositywater.org. Oasis is an innovative and racially diverse church, largely comprised of people in their 20’s & 30’s. Oasis is known for its local and global outreach to the impoverished; especially orphans and widows, and funding clean water projects. Philip and his wife, Holly, started Oasis in 1984, in Beverly Hills with10 people. Today they’ve grown to 3000+ members.