When Pastor Esposito preached out, or when our staff would preach out at a church for the first time, this is the message he would encourage us to give to the people of that church. This is a message that the pastor would not bring to his own people, but that I believe every church member should know so that our prayer and support for our pastor can be informed and growing.
Romans 10:13-15 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
One of the most difficult callings that I know of is the position of the senior pastor. Most people think that the sole job of the pastor is to prepare one, two, or three sermons a week, pray a little, and maybe make a couple of visits. (Boy, if that were true!!) Most people don’t know that being a pastor is draining emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I have been an assistant pastor for over twenty years and have been in one church for about thirty years. I have seen what my pastor goes through. I see his care, his concern, and his love for our church and our God. I sometimes see his frustration, his sadness, his stress and heart aches. Yes, he goes through that. All pastors experience this. Most of the time they won’t tell you!!
o The average pastor lasts about three years.
o 1500 pastors leave the ministry every month, due to spiritual burnout or contention in the church.
o America is experiencing a net loss of 3000 churches each year.
o 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
o 80% of pastors and 84% of pastors’ wives are discouraged with the ministry.
o 50% are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other means of making a living.
o 85% said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people such as deacons and associate pastors.
o 80% of pastors’ wives wish their husband had chosen another profession.
o 50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
o 70% of pastors do not have a close friend or confidant.
o 80% of pastors’ children must seek professional help for depression by the time they become adults.
o Over 50% of pastors’ wives said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered into the ministry.
o It doesn't matter how people leave, we always take it personally and it always hurts.
o We run the risk of constantly neglecting our own kids because of the constant pressure to help everyone else's.
o It's physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting to thoroughly preach a message.
o We don't get the same luxury of having a pastor to call when we struggle.
o Our kids are under constant scrutiny and will often be used against us by critical people.
o We struggle financially like everyone else and additionally worry about the entire church’s financial stability.
o We have very few friends, a whole bunch of acquaintances, and less than a handful we can really trust.
o Working fifty hours a week is considered part-time.
o We can rarely rejoice in who shows up because we immediately know who skipped out.
o We struggle with turning off our phones, disconnecting, or going out of town.
o We never get days free of drama and problems.
o No matter how good Sunday was, Monday is always an emotional roller coaster.
o The weight of people's unrealistic expectations fills us with anxiety and restlessness.
I thank the Lord for a great pastor! Pastor Meyers has helped me and my family, and no doubt our church, in so many ways. As a church, let us do all we can to pray for, be faithful to, give towards, encourage, and support our pastor and our church.
As children of God, we need to examine ourselves constantly to make sure our love is still devoted to Him.
Our willingness to humbly take correction and instruction is a pathway for wisdom.