3/21/2011 9:35 AM
There are so many different parts and roles of being a pastor. I (in the flesh) would never, ever have chosen this life or this role in life for myself. It's hard, even impossible most of the time (without the power of God).
Senior pastors today are expected to be great leaders, shepherds, care-takers, preachers, technology experts, teachers, developers of leaders, savvy business leaders, financial experts, administrative gurus, biblical scholars, writers, evangelists, visionaries, vision casters, recruiters, and on and on it goes.
I would not do this if I was not totally compelled by God and completely convinced that this is what He has called me to do!
Yes, there are many parts of being a pastor that I truly love and absolutely enjoy doing! But there are other parts about being a pastor that I totally dislike and so wish I could get out of doing.
My natural earthly personality is to be a people-pleaser. I love to make people happy. I love to be an encourager and to make people smile and feel good. I often call myself a recovering co-dependent because that is what I am.
It bothers me a lot when people get mad at me or don't like me. I (foolishly) want everyone to like me. I love people and I like being liked. What can I say? We all need to be self-aware of our weaknesses as well as our strengths. This is my tendency, but this is not who I am when i am being led by the Holy Spirit (which is my constant goal).
So one of the hardest things for me about being a pastor has to do with speaking truth in love to people that they do not want to hear. I do not like strong confrontation to the degree that it can make me feel literally physically ill at times. But on the positive side for me, I have great courage and with the help of the Holy Spirit, will usually confront when I know that is what God's calling me to do. (I guess that's more to His credit than mine though.
I never feel good after preaching messages that are convicting and since about 50% or more of my messages that God gives me to preach would be considered that, well, you get the picture.
One of my weaknesses has everything to do with communicating expectations to people and then holding them accountable. I'm horrible at that but I'm trying very hard to get better at it because I can see that I'm not helping people when I don't (even gently) hold them accountable.
Because I care about people, I am very concerned about where they will spend their eternal destinies. There are so many 'good' people who think they are Christians but are not following Christ. For example, sooo many couples these days are living together and are not married. According to the bible, this is living in sin. Living in sin is rebellion against God. If they do not repent (change and submit to God's laws), and die while they are living in sin, according to the Bible, their soul will go to hell. Because I believe in the bible, I believe that's true and that deeply concerns me for these individuals.
Unfortunately, couples who are living together do not want to hear that and when you tell them that, and they will become very angry at anyone who tells them different. The problem is really about the fact that people today want to do what they want to do and they don't want to submit to any other authority other than their own. It makes them angry when you even suggest it. People want to make up their own rules and ultimately, be their own God. This is exactly like the original rebellion against God from the beginning of time. It begins in Genesis. Adam and Eve didn't believe God and wanted to do what they wanted to do and had to live with the consequences of that.
Well anyway, that's the example of what is the hardest, most challenging aspect for me as a pastor. I realize that some pastors might say that it's very shallow of me to feel that way and I agree, it is! But I think transparency is a very positive thing for a pastor to have so I'm willing to strive to stay that way.
The other hardest part for me is the fact that so many "Christians" seem to have such a casual and uncaring attitude towards God's church. This breaks my heart (& I know it breaks the heart of God) and honestly, it makes me mad at the same time. The church seems to be a low priority on so many people's lists in America today and because of that reason, the church in America is dying. If people claim to love God, I cannot understand how they can rationalize NOT loving His church and making it a high priority in their lives.
The Church is God's family. It's the living, breathing, Body of Christ and I can not understand how something so precious and holy and beautiful could be treated so casually and with such lack of concern, neglect and care!!! And then I remember, that is exactly the same way that Christ was and is treated. Like the worship song says, "Like a rose, trampled on the ground..." It breaks my heart but that same passion is what drives me to keep going every day.
Other pastors who are reading this, what's the hardest part about being a pastor for you? Or how about for any of you Followers of Christ? It's not only a pastor's job to speak truth in love and follow Christ. Here's your chance to confess. Write a comment and tell us how we can pray for you.