A web site for pastors who are hurting, pastors who are thinking of quitting, and pastors who have quit the ministry.

frus·tra·tion n: the result of expectations exceeding reality.


  The intention is to describe aspects of ministry that are not often recognized or presented that can provide a broader understanding of the dynamics of ministry to explain how and why this can be one of the most challenging jobs there is.

I set this web site up to be able to share my perspectives and offer counsel to those who have suffered the "slings and arrows of outrageous" ministry (to borrow from Shakespeare).

I am taking a personal approach to this ministry because I see one of the many problems that besiege Christianity today is the impoverishment of relationships. For that reason I wish to be available to any who feel that correspondence could be helpful.

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Tim's Bio    
  I am starting with my biography hopefully not due to egomania but that many people prefer to know something about a person before deciding to spend time listening to what he has to say. This is the point where I should impress people with my CV, many degrees and publications, as well as prestigious positions I have held. Sadly, I am a nobody. I dropped out of high school and went into the Army in 1968.

I joined Mensa in 1980 by taking a test and thought with that high a score, I should actually be much smarter than I am. Around the same time I started to volunteer on a crisis hotline and read a note from another volunteer who had left saying that he always started each shift by praying to God and asking for wisdom. I thought this was good advice and followed his example. It proved to be a very good decision because I have found wisdom to be much more valuable than intellect.

I was raised in the Lutheran church and while having gone through confirmation, left church involvement and was propelled into the world as was common for the time. Only when I was thirty did I start to read the bible and as I advanced in this, the next step I saw was watching TV preachers. I came to the end of the progress I could make in that venue and started to search the phone book for a church to visit. Thankfully the one I selected (because it had the words "independent", "fundamental", and "bible" in the name) was where I was fortunate to learn how to use bible tools.

I led a bible study special interest group (SIG) for a local Mensa chapter for several years as well as a biweekly bible study for boys in a juvenile detention facility. Leading while learning is an interesting approach and one I suspect is more helpful than the construct of learning then leading which seems to imply that one reaches a point where he is finished learning. There is a degree of humility that has to be retained while one sees oneself as continuing in learning. For example, one of the detention boys asked why I presented a pretrib position. I took him to 1 Thess 4 and then chapter five a few verses later where it says that we are not appointed unto wrath. I then told him that if he had a different view to make his case and I might be persuaded to change my view.

When my wife and I got married we attended various Baptist churches, Plymouth Brethren, Reformed, and ended up doing house church that was usually just our family. We encountered people over the years that wanted to go in the direction of social activism, charisma, and KJV only and as a result, were never acceptable to those with a specific direction they wanted to pursue.

We moved to a rural area and homeschooled our children. While we are pleased with the character of our children and the wisdom of protecting them from some of the worst influences of the world, it is difficult to meet like-minded Christians with whom they might find opportunity to meet other young people. With this in mind, we would welcome the opportunity to correspond with other families with a view towards building Christian relationships.

  The following is a list of subjects that can bear on pastoral life to greatly varying degrees. Some people never have a problem with a particular subject while for others it can be a dreadful situation. Just as each pastor is unique in skills, background, family, and temperament, each situation is unique in terms of personalities, finances, growth, and history.

Problems can arise early in ministry or late in ministry. However, it can be only when problems have driven one to the ropes that one become desperate enough to seek help. This can be aggravated because of the isolation many pastors encounter.

Regardless of the situation, the information provided here is to help those who may be struggling and see nowhere to turn, 

  Pastoral subjects
Chapter 1   The arc of human development
Chapter 2   Individual temperament
Chapter 3   Rose colored glasses
Chapter 4   Seminary and the lecture
Chapter 5   Protecting the brand
Chapter 6 Church as a system
Chapter 7 Pastoral counseling
Chapter 8   The pastor as dictator
Chapter 9   The pastor as punching bag.
Chapter 10   The pastor as vassal
    The pastor as peripheral     
    Phoning it in
    Isolation of the pastor
    Isolation of the pastor's family
    Attempting a U turn