It seems lately I’ve been hearing more and more about pastor’s who have had to step down from ministry due to moral failure. Does it seem like it’s happening more to you? Or maybe I just didn’t notice before.
Either way, how are we to respond when we hear about such things? Did you know that 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged as role of pastors?
I love being married to a pastor, and I love being part of all the ministry happening at our church and in and through my husband. My son is also a pastor, and my son-in-law is a pastor as well. We have a lot of support in our family, but for many they can feel like an island.
Who can a pastor talk to if he is struggling with an issue? Where can a pastor get support if he feels down and discouraged? What if he is having marital problems? What happens when he is completely exhausted and can hardly perform menial tasks?
I know for us, after our last of five services at the end of the weekend we are completely spent. As in totally empty. Done. Finished. Wiped-out! It’s very difficult to fight against discouragement. We try to focus on the “wins,” and practice thankfulness for all that God did, but many weeks we are too tired to truly take it all in.
I think part of the reason some pastors fall is because they are isolated and feel they can’t share who they really are. We all need people in our lives who love and accept us no matter what. We all need friends who will come alongside of us. I remember back to when my husband and I first started in vocational ministry. We had some very difficult years of adjustment. Another couple who were close friends, were always there to support and encourage. It got us through until we became stronger and learned to adapt.
In ministry you feel as though you can never say no. In the beginning we said yes to just about everything. Every request. Every invitation. Every need.
One time a congregation member asked me to pick up a birthday cake for a party I wasn’t even invited to. Of course, I said yes. The next morning my car wouldn’t start. I walked with my then 3-year-old to the store. After I got the cake I realized I couldn’t hold the cake and my rambunctious son’s hand at the same time. Standing there, paralyzed, with cake in hand I was in a real pickle! Luckily, I saw someone I knew and they gave us a ride home. Yeah, that really happened!
Often pastors say yes to everyone, and then end up saying no to their family. Pastor wives can feel cheated, but how can we ask for time when “our husband is doing God’s work”? When you have a heart to serve it becomes extremely difficult to find balance. We found it easier to say yes to everything.
Then we learned one critical lesson. We learned how to say no. Without the ability to say the word no, you lose effectiveness.
We need to save our yes for what’s best.
In life we need to keep perspective on what is most important. Keeping our families strong are a vital part of ministry. How can we minister to others if our own home is not in order?
God put us in families for a reason, and the church will only be as strong as the strength of the family unit.
Satan has been working overtime to destroy the family. Help your pastors by accepting the word no with understanding and be ready to dish out grace.
Give your family top priority and allow your pastors to do the same. Practice love, patience, kindness, and grace.
Be a Gracian.
Do you find it hard to hear the word no? Do you find it difficult to say no?