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.
The Pastor as a Punching Bag
If a pastor has more of an introverted temperament, he may find himself at the receiving end of the machinations of bolder elders or deacons. This situation can worsen if the culture of a church is to see the role of the pastor as being the “religious” one. Things can worsen to the point where the duties of funerals, weddings, baptisms, and communion as well as a weekly homily are the only things expected or desired from a pastor.
Some adapt themselves to such treatment by considering that they are “leading by example”. However, this never seems to result in anyone else ever “following”. However, over time one cannot but help consider that one is enabling a neglect of the expected Christian life.
A pastor can become the default designee for any blame in a church. Having a scapegoat is useful for those who wish to absolve themselves from any responsibility. It is similar to confession but instead of acknowledging sin, one convinces oneself that someone else is guilty. This can be made worse if the church desired a bold leader and sees in an introverted pastor a failure to live up to expectations.
The introverted pastor is sort of swimming upstream. If there are changes he would like to see in the church and its members, he will probably not have the tools of a forcefull personality to push others in the direction he would have them go. Arm twisting or pushing others seldom accomplishes Christian objectives, but it can be pleasing to those inclined towards the world or the flesh.
The introverted pastor is in a situation similar to that of Jesus. People are unlikely to be persuaded if they are not seeking. When people lack a spark of curiosity or a hunger for truth, there is not much that can be done. Pastors can have a comfortable life as caretakers over a church that is sleep walking to eternity.
When a church is run as an organizational system, it plays against an introverted pastors strength which often lies in the direction of one on one relationships.