11/4/2010 4:20 PM
How hard is it to be a church planting pastor / senior pastor?
It's the absolute hardest thing I've ever done in my life! There is no doubt in my mind that I could not, would not do this in my own strength.
One of the things that makes it so very hard for me personally is the fact that my natural personality bent is to be a people pleaser. Someone once said the surest way to fail is to try to please everyone. I love people with all my heart. I have a huge mercy gift. I want to comfort, please, make happy, make everyone feel better! But it's not possible. And God calls me to be a "God-pleaser" first.
That means I must do things I don't want to do and say things I don't want to say. And that means people that I love with all my heart get mad at me. No matter how gentle, how kind, how loving I try to say what God wants me to say, people get MAD! >sigh< And sometimes their repsonse is to say mean things to me, either to my face, or more often, behind my back. And people always come and tell me what other's have said. They almost always tell on each other, little do they know. I hear it and it hurts!
Pastors absolutely need to have an extremely HIGH EQ: emotional quotient. What is an EQ? Emotional Intelligence. If Senior Pastors don't have a high EQ, they need to develop one...FAST! :-)
The only way to have one of those (in my opinion) is to make sure you get your DAILY BREAD! Every day is a challenge to surrender, surrender, surrender it all to Christ our LORD. If you don't do that, you will get beat up, battered and emotionally destroyed as a person. It happens all the time. Believe me, I've seen far too many pastors that have left the ministry as wounded, bitter people. I also know a few who should have left the ministry long ago. It's brutal in this day and age!
I'd say one of the number one requirements for any church planter should be to make sure you have a high EQ! Again, my definition of how to get that is to spend LOTS of time every day sitting at Jesus' feet. Every morning one must put on the full armor of God and be ready to STAND! Most days, standing is all you'll be able to accomplish. :-)
No one knows how difficult the spiritual battles are for a pastor unless they've been one or been married to one. It's absolutely brutal! I currently have around 150 relationships that I must maintain to one degree or another. One pastor refers to this as Relationship Anorexia.
I'm not looking for sympathy. The focused audience of this blog is for other pastors and potential pastors and leaders for Christ. No one seems to talk about this aspect of the calling in honest and sincere ways. Way too many church planters plant churches with totally unrealistic expectations of what leading and building a church is like. They won't teach you this stuff in seminary. The cost is huge and I can't help but think if more church planters were better prepared to face the battles and the emotional abuse that inevidably comes, fewer lives and marriages would be destroyed. I believe this is also why so many pastors fall into sin.
The answer is more Jesus. We have to get that daily bread and be filled up with that Holy Spirit every minute of the day. It's hard work but I think it truly comes down to a daily surrender to Christ. It's the ONLY WAY!
Peace ONLY in Christ our Lord friends!
And really, it is so worth the journey! The best part is that you get to be water walking with Jesus every single day!