Tuesday, November 18

On the Dock of the Bay...

I was talking to a pastor friend of mine last night about the loneliness that often accompanies ministry that Bible College or Seminary doesn't prepare you for... especially in the early days of ministry. Some guys who aspire to be church planters think it's SMOOTH SAILING... they can make their own hours, do whatever they want, study as much as they want, but they don't realize the HARD WORK and SACRIFICE that it takes to make a "successful" church start... and they fail to understand the sometimes extreme loneliness that sets in... the feeling that you're sometimes on an island by yourself. The task of faithfully and continually imparting the vision... the burden of the responsibility of the day-to-day operations that falls squarely on your shoulders... the weight of it all can be intense.

Not only is this sometimes an unrecognized reality by new church planters, but also by those who are around them: leaders, spouses, friends... in an attempt to be "encouraging and upbeat", the planter will often internalize the pressure and frustration from feeling alone... there are few he can "vent" to (Lord knows, his wife hears about the ministry way too much anyway), and he doesn't like to "complain"...

Those are the times he needs God the most...
Those are the times he needs your prayers...

Of course, he probably won't let you know, so just pray for him anyway. Chances are, when you pray, he could use it right then. ;-)

2 comments:

Kevin Davis said...

True, true.

So many things that bible college doesn't prepare you for and while that is part of the journey, all leaders in the church are wise to surround themselves with not just friends, but friends they can be totally open with.

Rindy Walton said...

You are so right on with this. Right now I'm handling the day-to-day, life-sucking operations, yet having to remain upbeat meeting new people and casting vision. "Making my own hours" consists of feeling the pressure to not take time off and to do "one more thing". I'm not the lead pastor, but am "#2" in this church plant--it's tough. Who will jump on board if they see how tough it is, or that u don't "have it all together"? So it def gets internalized and there is def loneliness...