My doctor told me that “Holding the heavy weight championship title” was ok for the sport of boxing but it should never be for a pastor/shepherd.” It was their way of telling me that I should lose more weight.
There are a lot of things that affect our ability to serve the LORD in the assignment He has given to each of us. I have a passion for our shepherds and desire them to be all they can be for the LORD Jesus.
Let me share with you a story of a pastor/shepherd who has now left the ministry. Here is his story about his stress level that got so bad that he ended up leaving the pastorate all together. “I spent 11 years in public accounting and 2 years in the oil and gas accounting and management, so I was used to high stress. But the pastorate is a different kind of stress. You serve the LORD and He is the One you answer to. But then there are the hundreds of (little gods) people you minister to on a weekly basis to whom you also are accountable,” he said. “Your stress arises out of the multiple responsibilities you have in the ministry, each one with its own stress points – staff supervision, committees, building campaigns, finances, death and funerals, hospitals and illness, three fresh sermons a week, counseling on a wide range of problems, quarrels among church members, business meetings, deacon’s meetings, budget issues, special events, community involvement, special worship services, (did I overlook anything) etc. The ministry rises the minister’s stress level to new highs and that often affects his health in negative ways.”
This describes over 90 percent of our pastor/shepherds today and they are the ones who are expected to help others handle stress in their life.
Can you identify with this former pastor? It is important to do what God did and teaches us in His Word. He worked 6 days and took a break. Jesus often would get off by Himself to spend time with the Heavenly Father, just He and Him. We must allow God to help us keep ministry in balance. If we don’t the burn-out is sure to follow.
I am working on a series of studies on how to handle stress before it starts handling you. We want to turn stress from foe to friend. God has the answers for us. It will be on my website soon (christiangrowthministries.org)
It is my prayer that each of us will constantly reevaluate our life and ministry to allow God to use us to be His best servant. I look forward to hearing “well done good and faithful servant” don’t you?
Having a passion for our pastors,