3. We struggle with getting our worth from ministry.
When the numbers are up, the compliments are flowing and the people are lively, we feel great.
When everything is level, it feels like it’s in decline.
When things are actually in decline, it’s a full-tilt tailspin in our soul.
We almost can’t help but equate the growth of the church with our ability/inability to produce growth. Therefore, if there is any appearance of waning, we feel defeated and wonder how long before the church board wises up and trades us to another team.
The “Idol of Ministry” comes on and off the shelf pretty regularly in a pastor’s office.
4. We regularly think about quitting.
This comes in two very different forms.
One form is the variation of perhaps leaving ministry altogether.
While there are some really great things about vocational ministry, there are also less enjoyable realities such as: pastors’ families are noticed (i.e., judged) routinely, pastors’ purchases are observed (i.e., judged) overtly and pastors’ words are weighed (i.e., judged) consistently. Therefore, the ability to hide among the masses and not be noticed is very appealing.
The second form comes with the desire for a change of scenery.
Pastors are shepherds, thus we love greener grass even more than sheep. To leave for a bigger budget, better building or a place with less difficult people (yeah, we get delusional sometimes) stands out as lush Kentucky Bluegrass when contrasted with the dusty patch of ragged earth called “our current church.”
This “Greener-Grass Gawking” usually occurs when we become too proud (“My gifts are better than this place”) or too insecure (“I stink and just need to start over”) and flows from #3.