I read this yesterday and got a miserable feeling in my gut. Such tragic, tragic news. I didn’t know this pastor and I don’t know any circumstances surrounding his death. But it still hurts. Almost every week I hear of another pastor taking his own life, having an affair, or leaving the ministry altogether.
The pressures of ministry can be overwhelming. And some are consumed. The rest of us, at some point, pray we won’t be next.
Honestly, I struggle with the pressure. There have been many occasions in my ministry when I’ve seriously considered doing something else. Anything else.
In the midst of the struggles, I’ve found a few things that help me keep my focus. Maybe these will help you.
- Remember the Sabbath. God created everything in six days. Then He took a day off. You should, too. You have to take a day off. You have to. Turn off the computer, the cell phone, the home phone, and rest. Rest your body and rest your mind. Schedule a day off every week and guard it like a bulldog.
- Take a weekend off several times a year. If you preached last Sunday and you’re preaching this Sunday, then this week is NOT a vacation, whether you’re away or not. The church will not fall apart if you’re not there Sunday. And if it does, then it was built on the wrong foundation to begin with. An occasional Sunday away will do wonders for you, and your church.
- Attend a conference this year. Find one where the speakers or topics interest you and go. The biggest benefit of conferences are NOT the knowledge you gain, but the people you meet. The ones who are struggling just like you. No one can fully understand an NFL quarterback better than another NFL quarterback and no one can understand a pastor better than another pastor. Go to a conference and find out you’re not alone.
- Join a coaching network. A coaching network is a new addition for me. A month ago I became part of this guy’s coaching network. It’s a blessing from God. My mind is becoming refocused and I’m talking with someone who’s walked where I’m walking. I’m picking up great ideas and direction. The boost in confidence is huge.
I hope this may help some of you out there. Feel free to share your own.