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.
Rose Colored Glasses
Many young people come to follow a pastoral path without a very accurate picture of how ugly people can be (even those who claim the name of Christ). It can be difficult to discover how hurtful people can be especially when one may have had high expectations.
A rose colored glass is a distortion (deception, delusion, or facade) that one uses to make one feel good when reality is otherwise. In a way it is a neglect of reality. A certain amount of this is expected with youth as they are often less experienced and familiar a wider world. Some churches even want this particular effect supported in their church to create an environment that is positive and uplifting.
Some pastors may even find that they see in the bible an admonition that they are responsible to feel good themselves and make everyone feel good. There are many divergent paths for a pastor to start following the flesh rather than the Spirit. This is one of the more seductive and unproductive ones.
Norman Vincent Peale once said, "A man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is." This is somewhat similar to the occult belief that one can get what one wants by using his thought energy to precipitate it from the astral, through the etheric, to the physical plane. The ideas in various forms such as the “law of attraction” all seem to offer the same promise, “Ye shall be as gods”.
It can seem harmless and may even seem kind to contribute to a distortion of reality that makes oneself or others feel good. However, the pastor in particular needs to be aware of the damage a departure from truth can inflict. The idea that feeling good is the highest goal is so pervasive in our society today that many pastors can come to see it almost as a biblical principle.
That people wish to resist the discomfort associated with seeing the evil in the world is understandable. However, reality can be useful not as an example of good, but as a good example of bad. The discomfort caused by seeing evil is not best resolved by pretending it doesn’t exist, but rather transcending it by seeing the love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus which provide a foundation of hope.
If we turn from reality and seek comfort, we lose a connection with truth and with that discernment and even distance ourselves from our Savior who is truth.