“Why the trend towards ministry as a second career? Is this a positive trend? Is it a trend about which the church should be worried? Why are fewer younger women and men not pursuing ordained ministry upon graduation from college as was the case in the past? Do second career clergy bring greater maturity and experience to pastoral leadership than those who did not work for any significant length of time in another career? These are important questions.” (Jackson W. Carroll). READ MORE
What the pastor believes really matters, and what his congregation believes really matters. Spiritual discernment is vital in the pastor’s commitment to stand for the gospel, and to stand against false beliefs. How does he remain faithful to the gospel when compromise and accommodation are the norm? I’ve covered a lot of topics to this point on Before You Quit. Marriage difficulties! The pastor’s family! Dealing with conflict! Antagonists! Sense of failure! Loneliness in ministry! When is it time to make a change! Dealing with loss! Confessing sin! READ MORE
We talk a lot in these podcasts about the sort of hard things pastor’s face; marriage challenges, hard people in the pastor’s life, the struggle with children and even facing loss. My goal has been pretty singular with all the interviews, and that is to encourage the pastor to keep his focus, to not be distracted and to realize also that with serving Jesus can come, and probably will come a lot of opposition and challenges. There is one thing we have not talked about in the sort of things pastors face and that is the pressure to bend his convictions to the many theological trends blowing across our landscape today. The pressure for the pastor to bend to, to compromise his message is becoming an increasingly heavy load to carry. It’s getting harder and harder to just stick to the simple message of the gospel. Even with all the pastoral responsibilities he carries, it’s getting harder for him to take time in studying and preparing for his primary role, of preaching the Word of God. READ MORE
I am sure you can identify with these following comments: I wish I was preaching more. If only I could take on more responsibility, I would be happier. I wish the board would let me start that ministry program. Even if you are not a pastor or in ministry you have longed to do something that fits your gifts better, or to find what we are going to define today as your sweet spot.
“Antagonists go for the jugular. They have a singular goal. They want to hurt, humiliate and destroy the senior pastor. In the course of their attacks, they intentionally want to divide the congregation between those that agree with them and the supporters of the rector.” Dr. Dennis R. Maynard.
Pastors face a lot of challenges, but the hardest is when they’re attacked by an antagonist. Sure, there are some bad apples that fall from the clergy tree, but most are loving and compassionate. They really care about people and do long for those under their care to grow spiritually and thrive in their journey. Why is it then, that too often pastors are attacked? Is it possible that not all the sheep are, what one writer once referred to as, “well intentioned dragons”? Could it be that some are actually bent on causing harm to the pastor and to see his ministry fail? Dr. Dennis Maynard speaks candidly and boldly on the subject while urging the church to become a safe place for the pastor to serve affectively without this all to real pressure. READ MORE
With Dr. Bill Ronzheimer
What does it take to remain passionate and committed to the gospel that will take you the long haul in ministry? I read one stat how 80% of pastors will leave the ministry within their first five years. Some, I’m sure, leave for good reasons and are still serving Jesus faithfully. Others, however, no doubt faced disappointment of not having what it took to stick it out for the long haul. We are not interested necessarily in people having to stay in vocational ministry, but rather committed to serve Jesus wherever they are. Today’s podcast I know will encourage you to serve well, no matter where you are and what you are doing, or even how long you’ve been doing it. READ MORE
Today we are going to talk about the pastor’s wife and it struck me as I was preparing for this that I have been married to a pastor’s wife for over 30 years. And while she’s been amazing, I know there were times where it was difficult. There is no defined role, but there are certainly definite expectations placed on the pastor’s wife. So much is on the pastor’s wife and she’s never been trained for it. The pastor gets the training, but the wife is expected to be everything for everyone else. She shares her husband with the entire church, and fights to know her place. She’s expected to serve the church, be a model wife and model mom, and in the meantime she’s asking the Lord Jesus “who am I, and what do you want from me?” READ MORE
What do you do when you’re great at pastoring but not that good at marriage. I ask the question often, can a pastor and his wife have a good ministry when the marriages is hanging by a thread? I enter into a very delicate conversation with a young pastor and his wife who from the day they met, ministry was all they had in common. This almost caught up with them, but God intervened in only the way he can. READ MORE
Most pastors will often tell that they are like a small time pilot being asked to fly a huge plane, something way beyond their ability. Most of us in ministry will even feel that all the training in the world will not prepare us enough to do this job. READ MORE
Today we are going to talk about the preverbal elephant in the room, and that is what to do when there is conflict in the church, or even conflict in your own life. How do you respond when people in your church do not get along. Perhaps one of the saddest thing a pastor ever witnesses is when people are not getting along in his church. I’ve seen it and I know many others have to. Conflict in the church drives people away from the church and sadly, their perception of God is shaped by what they witnessed in a church. I remember someone coming to me once and his words broke my heart. He said, Pastor, I can no longer attend here with all this tension. It led me to pray for renewal and work hard for it. In this podcast interview we talk to Pastor Eric Anderson who is open
and very candid about how he managed through, and survived conflict. Eric even speaks about the nature of conflict, the value of conflict and even how it made him a better shepherd to a hurting group of people. Eric lives deep in the cold flat lands of MN and pastors LifeSpring Church, a reformed church belonging to the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. He is married to Miriam for over 11 years and both he and Mariam have eight children; five girls and three boys ranging from 19 years old to a 1 year old. You will be blessed listening to this wonderful story of how to thrive where there is conflict.
Here are some of the resources Eric referred to:
Antagonists In The Church click here!
I also highly recommend Thriving Through Church Conflict click here!