Pastors finishing well???

‎90% of Christian Pastors who enter ministry never retire from ministry. They either get burnt out, change careers, or have a moral or ethical failure. WHY? Why can we start well but have so much trouble finishing well? THOUGHTS??? — with Josh Bingham and 19 others.

Like ·  · Unfollow Post · Tag Friends · 14 hours ago near Asheville

  • Branton Loftis likes this.
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      McKenzie Dillingham I wouldn’t consider it finishing well by dying on a cross at 30 either. But maybe pastors are completely forgetting…or never truly learning how Jesus lived.

      14 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Jeff Pate 

      not to over simplify but scripture says quite plainly that three possible reasons are: 1. they don’t count the cost and when it gets tough they bail (as in never fully understood what “calling” is) or in other words they don’t keep keep their eyes on the Prize as Paul said. 2. they let the difficult sheep drive them from shepherding. Some sheep have teeth and they bite hard and I think some folks in ministry just get tired of it because they lack the true shepherd’s heart. 3. the love of this world is overpowering. there’s much more to all of these but that’s my initial opinion.
      14 hours ago · Unlike ·  4
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      Dave Nelson is retirement even a biblical idea?

      14 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Al Desilets I have watched a lot of pastors burn out because the get overwhelmed with things they feel they need to do and they start operating under their own power and not the power of the Holy Spirit. Once that happens they stop letting God prioritize what they do and they become empty and cease to feel joy in what they are doing.

      14 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Joe Dillon 

      Pastors and churches have false expectations of ministry. The pastor wants to be succesful and the church wants to be seen as successful as well. Most Pastors are unhappy with the church and most churches are unhappy with their pastor. The church isn’t as responsive as the church on TV or down the road and the church is unhappy because he(the pastor) isn’t growing the church like the one on TV or down the road. The bottom line is that most of our values for ministry in America today are not Biblical values but values drawn from our culture where sucess and notoriaty reigns supreme.
      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  3
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      Jeff Helpman What is a moral or ethical failure? Is it sleeping with your friends wife, getting her pregnant and then killing your friend? Why do we look at King David as a hero and modern pastors as a failure? Is it measured by ‘body of work’ or ‘work in a particular body’? I know men who have burnt out, changed careers, had a failure, and still finished well.

      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  4
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      Josh Bingham I agree with pate

      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Bob Williams 

      Part of it is who we are or not who we are. I am a much different person at 44 than I was at 24. I felt lost in my 20s and really did not grasp life until my 30s. Are pastors much different from the rest of us? I have changed careers completely and have earned and paid for 2 college degrees that I do not use anymore. Point is feeling the call sometimes at 21 to go to seminary can change at 31. It happens across many career fields. Pastors are human and I want one who understands and lives those struggles of life along side of me. Maybe if stepped backed some and appreciated the sacrifices they make dealing with hardship of the flock and showed.them some appreciation in simple ways like a thank you, maybe not as many would burn out. I like Dave Nelson’s take on retirement.
      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  4
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      Caleb Mayfield 

      Jason is probably saying that Pastors who have moral or ethical failure (which is a moral or ethical failure. No grey areas. God gave us the spirit to know) are reported as letting that negatively motivate them to just stop pastoring instead of doing as David did which was repent and rejoice in Gods grace and continue the race they started (ministry). And Jesus didn’t have any ethical failures. He saw the ministry to the end. Which was the cross. Praise him! Lol
      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Amy Rachelle Porter Um …. a failure to keep the main thing the main thing. Christ must be in us. With our focus on him we will not fail

      13 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Dave Nelson 

      Another thought. Lets say 90% of pastors consider it their job to spend 90% of their time with “Christians”. And lets say 99.99% of “Christians” don’t act like Christ. I could see that wearing someone down over time. And all because Pastors spend their time with “Christians”. All statistics pulled directly from……. Hey Jason Speier when are you going to chip in? Thanks for starting this by the way. Also there was only one person without a moral or ethical failure and the church of the day still accused him of both.
      12 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Benjamin Curfman 

      ‎”Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

      Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” – Selections from James 3

      12 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Emilie Adams Lanter If you don’t mind me adding, my thoughts, I agree with @Jeff Helpman. If a pastor does not retire in the ministry, who is to say the time, passion and education he provided was less worthy? Why is he a failure? We are imperfect, which God knows. If the pastor gave to his community with all his heart, as long as he was able, I do not believe he has failed anyone, especially God.

      12 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Caleb Mayfield I removed my last post because I was wrong. sorry

      10 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Chris N Cheryl Dillon 

      I think it’s two-fold. Firstly, like some have said some pastors don’t really count the cost and so when things get tough the easy thing to do is to bail and go do something else. On the flip side of the coin, many churches treat their pastors like dirt, and basically abuse them and their families both financially and emotionally. Many churches even boast saying things like “God you keep him humble, and we’ll keep him poor”…which is actually quite the opposite of what Scripture teaches how churches should treat and compensate their pastors. This systemic problem isn’t solely a pastoral issue, or a church issue, it is both.
      10 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Eric Medford 

      I have mulled over this question for sometime this morning and not to sound like the “old man of the mountain” or anything, but I have lived this question for the last 30 years. Having grown-up in a pastor’s home and now starting my 12th year of full time ministry, I think I have a unique outlook on this. Growing up I saw the expectations and the effort to try to live up to those expectations placed on the minister effect my father spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. 1.) Those who get in this line of work for financial gain are…ignorant. For one this is not a line of work it is a calling. There may be great times and lean times. My father pastored small rural churches and made barely anything. He worked a “secular” job and what he made fed his family and paid the churches bills. . I on the other hand, after getting out of college was blessed to get a staff position at a large church with a decent salary and have been fortunate enough to work for the most part with strong congregations that were able to supply me with a great salary and benefits for the majority of my ministry. There have been occasions though where I didn’t have this luxury. 2.) The physical demands of this CALLING are unrelenting. Between hospitals, meetings, services, special events, rehearsals, study time, counseling, funerals, weddings, and the up keep of the church property (if you have no help) it is exhausting! Not to mention your wife, children, and home. 3.) The emotional effects of this CALLING will crush you. Dealing with irate membership, broken families, dying and death, sicknesses, financial hardships, having no friends (this is a big one), feelings of mistrust toward you and you having the same toward your members, careless words said to you and about you, being lied to and about, your wife and children being under the microscope 24/7, living up to the “image” , feeling alone, the constant effort to “please” everyone, the list goes on and on. 4.) When do you feed yourself when feeding everyone else? Spiritually Pastors/Ministers spend more time worrying about everyone else’s spiritual well being that they forget about theirs. How is this possible? “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many children she didn’t know what to do.” The busyness of ministry, being here, being there, taking care of this one and that one; does not make for good personal worship and devotion time. It is very easy to become cold and indifferent to the spirit of God, no matter how much you are “ministering” . 
      The simple answer is most leave because they don’t follow this basic principle from start to finish. Relationship with God, Relationship with Family, Relationship with “self”, THEN relationship with church.” It is hard to live, trust me, I know. However, it is what keeps you grounded, your dreams nurtured, your eyes and life fixed on God and what he has called you to do! If we would only develop and mentor those who feel the call to ministry better this statistic would plummet! Instead we have created this false image in our bible colleges, seminaries, and yes CHRISTIAN TV that ministry is this wonderful, great paying, luxurious life style. Shame on us! My father left the pastorate after not applying this principal to his ministry. I for one will not fall victim to the same things. I have been at the point of burn out, so I stepped back and refueled. It wasn’t the last time that I may have to refuel! Ministry is like a garden it has to be cultivated, nurtured, fertilized, watered, and re-sewn at times.
      10 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Dave Nelson A couple of things, @Eric, thank you for your input! Ministry can be filled with “fertilizer” at times. I think you shared that very eloquently. However I don’t believe a pastor should be expected to do a lot of the things you listed under 2), 3) and 4). And the perception that those are part of your job may be another cause of burnout.

      10 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Jason Robert McMahan It’s always been my impression that being a minister is not something you ‘retire’ from or ever really leave. You are either a minister, or you aren’t. There are no career changes when you are called by God.

      9 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
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      Branton Loftis 

      We hang on tecnicalities… We are human… We all have a sin nature that battles within… Even in our grandest failures Christ offers both grace and redemption even if they come with a degree of discipline as in the case of David and many others. We are driven to success but our definition of that success is birthed from from lies that we must be like this or that or we acheive x or we are naught but failure. We reach to be then next Chan or Stanley and sometimes we are even pressured by those around and opinions of those that we lead to be something we are not. In truth God created all 100% unique and thus we should be content with who and how he created us in personality. In times past the christian world and the secular world alike create the myth that “PASTOR” is holy! None are any more holy than the people they lead. Christ alone can make us holy. Yet many pastors are pressurized to exist as if they are flawless yet everyone points out their flaws. Our world view on the subject from my perspective is all together flawed.
      5 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Branton Loftis Form a revitalized burnt out and resigned Pastor now revitlized and reengaged as a Pastor in the ministry with plenty of grace covered failures and God breathed successes. It all because Jesus cares about me, Good or Bad.

      5 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Sue Thayer I have really enjoyed this post. Also some questions that I have mulled over, have been answered! Keep up the good work! God’s work!

      4 hours ago · Unlike ·  1
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      Nate Johnson 

      My view on it is this. Church has become something it should not be. Church is so different today as it was originally set up in Acts. Our people are fat sheep who either fall over or get eaten by wolves. People sit in services and soak up stuff that will never be put into motion because of comfort zones or they just don’t get it themselves. That’s frustrating to a pastor and leads to burn out. Also, leading to burn out, is the fact that the church expects the pastor to be a do all kind of guy and they miss the point of community and put normal Christian duties on their pastors. As far as moral and ethical failures, well no one is perfect. Pastors should be more prepared for issues that arise, but nonetheless, they are still men. A pastor having a moral or ethical failure is no different that any other Christian with the exception of the whole church being affected. I believe we should allow God to decide who is a failure and who isn’t, who finishes well and who doesn’t. That’s what He does. I know people who were in ministry full time, their lives were turned upside down and now God is using that in His favor. Just because people see it as a failure, God doesn’t fail. As pastors, we can’t allow our mess ups to be our demise. We have to work through it, learn from it and always keep God our priority, nothing else.
      3 hours ago · Unlike ·  2
    • Jason Speier 

      Great comments everyone…Here are my thoughts in no particular order….

      1. Say “NO” to something or someone everyday just to keep in practice. “IF ITS NOT CONNECTED TO THE DREAM, DON’T DO IT”. This will help you stay focused on what God has called you to do and not what hundreds of different voices want you to do in order that they feel better about going to church one hour per week. This will keep you effective and far away from burnout! 

      2. Read the Bible as often as you are able, it is your soul food! I have been able to help more people in Jesus’ name b/c of a close daily walk with Him than I ever did preaching the best sermon or putting together the most fabulous worship set. This will make your ministry and your life authentic which is something that many of us struggle against. 

      3. LOVE YOUR WIFE/Spouse! This is where I failed in the past. For some time I let my love of ministry success become more important that loving my wife and family. I had to walk away from ministry as a career and fall back in love with my bride. That meant working for Verizon Wireless and coming home and learning to value the time with my family more than people patting me on the back for filling a church with warm bodies. Now by God’s grace I am restored, excited and in a place where my family feel’s loved and cared for just as much, if not more than the church I serve. Having your family with you 100% on the journey makes ministry fun and enjoyable! 

      4. Every person who works in a church (and outside for that matter) needs a good ol’ fashioned slap on the rear and someone telling them “atta boy” every once in a while. Not too much, less we get an unhealthy ego, but not too little to where we become depressed/discouraged and feel we are all alone in this endeavor to tell the world about the love of God in Christ Jesus! So to all of you who commented and who read this post who love God and are fighting the good fight, KEEP GOING! STAND! And when you have done all you can do to stand…keep standing!!! You are not alone!!! 

      5. People who commented on this posted question are serving in churches all over WNC, PA, WCU, outside the USA, Asheville, some live on the West coast and some on the East coast, some of you travel all over the country speaking to churches, and some of you go out into the middle of the woods in order to disciple students. None of us agree 100% with the rest of the group on every issue, but we can all agree that seeing the face of a person who truly understands their faith in God and the love that Jesus has for them is worth all the hard work. To know that we (fellow pastors and laborers for the Gospel) are not the enemy of each other is a huge point. So I encourage all of you this snowy December day to pray for your family, church, and fellow ministers that we may all finish well together having served Jesus faithfully to the end, whatever that looks like in the context of this sinful dying world.

      about an hour ago · Like ·  1
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