Always a challenge — one I’m up to

Nearly every single day I meet with a pastor who tells me of an overwhelming challenge.  A sermon needs to be written. The ideas are not coming. … A parishioner in the hospital is very ill.  … A leader in the church has a child who is in big, big trouble. There are no good solutions. …   The church budget is being stretched and stretched — something has to go. … Someone on the staff is not a good fit. Should we let the person go now or wait and see if things improve? … The worship leader on Sunday is stepping down.  No one is stepping up.

Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Today a pastor asked me, “What do you think I should do?”

Like I have done hundreds of times I turned the question back to the pastor.  “What do you want to do?”

Everybody has options.  This fellow told me he felt he had no options — zero.  I responded, “Well, you could quit.”

“I can’t do that,” he said.

“Well, okay,” I said.  “That’s a bad option.  Now let’s find some good ones.”

When you think you have exhausted your options, well, you probably haven’t.

I’m not an expert on any pastor’s life, but I listen well.  I ask great questions.  I really do care.  I’m a pretty good encourager. And thankfully, day after day I see the Holy Spirit at work in this group of church leaders that I have so come to love and respect.

Not everyone should be a pastor.  It’s very tough work, especially emotionally.  Pray for your pastor.

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