Pastors who worry

What?  Pastors worry?  Not on this planet, surely…

Last week I was with 10 life coaches who love pastors.  It was remarkable the number of worried pastors we coaches are connected to.  That’s why I am increasingly convinced of how much every pastor needs a coach.  Here’s how one of the discussions from last week went:

One life coach started the discussion saying, “One of my guys is worried about how he can stand before his congregation each week and speak the Word of the Lord to the congregants, while at the same time struggling with how inconsistent he is in his own life.”

“What do you mean?” the seminar leader asked.

“Well, this guy has a couple of teen-agers who can’t stand the church where their own dad is the pastor. The guy tells me he feels incredible tension when he steps up to the pulpit.”

“What did you say to him?” the leader asked.

The coach said he asked him if he felt he was God’s man for that church. The pastor said he thinks he is, even though he now doesn’t insist that his kids attend. The pastor said when he searches his soul, though, he feels God tells him to stay and keep serving the flock.

Next, the coach asked, “What is the main tension you feel?” The pastor said he feels that people judge him when he gets up to preach. So the coach asked, “Do people judge you?” The pastor said he isn’t sure. In fact, he said some of his core members have children who have left the church, and those leaders actually have tremendous understanding of his situation.

Those leaders have encouraged him to hang there, he said. Then the coach asked, “What are two things you could do to relieve this tension you feel?” The pastor thought for a minute and then said he could work at being emotionally present when he talks to his people, not fearing that they are judging him, and he could resist spending a hour or so each week searching the internet and thinking about other churches where he could pastor, if somehow the ax were to fall in the months ahead.

As a coach for pastors, I have repeatedly seen the power of great questions. 

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