There appears to be a mentality in many churches that the pastor is a sort of panacea for all of my problems. He is expected to be the wisest of the wise, to know and understand how I feel (whether I am having a good day or bad day), to have the right word at all times, to pray incessantly for the pettiest of needs, to spend hours seeking God each day, and, of course, to be available at my beck and call.
Maybe I am being a little over the top in saying that but it is clear that expectations of pastors are very high.
Most pastors do a good job – which would be better if the Body of Christ rose up in the ministries God has anointed within them. I like and admire pastors – I would argue that if you want the best pastor for your church you should give more honour the one you have.
Let me juxtapose my comments against the offering of an article I recently read, 10 Real Reasons Why Pastors Quit Too Soon by Tim Peters. He uses some statistics as he suggests these reasons, including these (which I assume are based on research in the USA):
50% of pastors report feeling sodiscouraged they would leave the ministry if they could.
70% of pastors say they have a lower self-image now than when they started.
70% of pastors do not have someone they consider a close friend
70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.
90% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week
80% of pastors believe pastoral ministry has negativelyaffected their families.
90% of pastors feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands.
My experience does not suggest that pastors are moaners and groaners looking for every opportunity to feel sorry for themselves. They are good hard working, God loving men, who face immense spiritual and physical pressures.
If you don’t already do it then it is time to schedule some serious daily prayer for the shepherd of the flock to which you belong – he needs it.