How does a pastor know if he’s lost his bearings or if he’s off to a slow start on the day? Is that sense of being overwhelmed with the ministry a healthy dose of humility or a voice warning that she’s off course?
This is one of the most important questions you’ll ever face as a vocational minister.
[Note: This article has been cross-posted at The Turnaround Pastor]
It has been my sad lot in life to step in behind ministry colleagues who came up with the wrong answer to the question. From personal conversations with them, from looking at church records and from interviews with the congregants I’ve discovered seven consequences they all suffer in varying degrees.
- Doubt about the call
- Depression or (at least) despondency
- Going through the motions rather than grabbing the work with gusto
- Objectifying congregants in ways that break trust
- Loss of joy in Christ, the congregation and the family
- Resigning under duress
- Bitterness in the soul
My concern for my colleagues in settled positions is that they get this one right. So let me suggest 10 warning signs that you’ve lost your bearings. (I didn’t purposely strive for 10; it just worked out that way)