Money struggles beset almost every discouraged pastor I know. They want to continue serving with teens, but are tempted to “move up” because associate pastors get paid more. They can’t afford to send their kids to some desired activity and feel like a bad dad. They’re crippled with student loans.
Satan will use money to rob your joy and distract you from your calling.
I have experienced and seen this temptation most often in relation to the family. It is one thing to be stoic when you’re single and say you are willing to deny yourself for the cause of Christ. Will you feel the same way when you have kids? A wife? An elderly parent?
If pastors will persevere, they must do everything possible to make good stewardship a priority as soon as possible.
Most will never be rich as pastors, but with wise planning they can provide for themselves and their families. Do everything you can to graduate seminary without debt, even if it means taking longer to do it.
Also, when interviewing for a job, be humbly honest about how much money your family needs. Don’t shrink back from the truth, especially in an initial interview, because once you say yes to the salary it is hard to go back and ask for more. You will never be happy as a pastor if you feel like your calling prevents you from providing for your family.
Every statistic tells us that most pastors don’t make it over the long haul in vocational Christian ministry. I almost got knocked out because I didn’t know where the punches would come from.
Serving the Lord in vocational Christian ministry is a crown. Being an elder is a noble calling. Being entrusted to shepherd the flock is a gift and a grace.
See the danger and pray over it. Prepare for it, so that you will persevere in carrying this grace to completion.
This article about challenges in vocational Christian ministry originally appeared here.