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10 Pastors Who Fail to Reach Their Ministry Potential

pastors who fail

You probably can name a few talented athletes that showed potential early in their career but flamed out prematurely. “So-and-so had everything going for them, how could they not succeed?” A lack of discipline, focus or humility might have caused them to miss a great opportunity. Likewise, we’ve all heard of pastors who fail.

Pastors are susceptible to not live up to their potential. Natural giftedness or previous ministry blessings are not enough to get you to the finish line in ministry. You must be wise in both pursuing Christ and avoiding the snares of the devil that seek to trip pastors up (1 Timothy 3:6-7).

10 Types of Pastors Who Fail 

1. Pastors Who Fail: The Future-Focused Pastor

Are you always thinking about your next ministry position or dreaming about other roles? Don’t let your future desires rob from the opportunity God has you in presently. The Lord has you where he has you for a reason. The grass is always greenest where it is watered.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Luke 16:10

2. Pastors Who Fail: The Anger-Prone Pastor

Pastors often deal with stressful situations and difficult people and are prone to burnout in ministry. The right combination of people and stressors may prove dangerous for the pastor who is easily angered. Unruly youth and unreasonable congregants never give a pastor an excuse to lose their temper—even for a moment. Letting anger control you could lead to physically harming others and being found unfit for ministry.

“Therefore an overseer must be … sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable.” 1 Timothy 3:2

3. Pastors Who Fail: The Do-Everything-Yourself Pastor

You may be tempted to see the ministry of the church as something you own and are responsible for. Pastors shouldn’t seek to control every aspect of ministry but rather should train others for biblical ministry (2 Timothy 2:2). Leadership Resources equips pastors to read and preach God’s Word with God’s heart and to train others to do so as well. Our Fellowship of the Word program will sharpen your abilities at proclaiming God’s Word and will give you the confidence to equip others for a ministry of the Word.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12

4. Pastors Who Fail: The Insubordinate Pastor

The insubordinate pastor might prefer his vision for ministry over his boss’ vision and refuse to submit to his authority. This attitude might cause division in the church or for others to discount the vision of the governing pastors. Pastor: God calls you to model Christ-like submission to your authority in front of your flock.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17

5. Pastors Who Fail: The Money-Loving Pastor

Money is one of the three big sins Satan most often uses to cause pastors to fall (along with sex and power). Financial temptations abound and range from dipping into church funds for personal use to gambling. Guard your heart against the love of money and pray that God would help you model godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6).

“…not a lover of money…” 1 Timothy 3:3