Dear Hurting Pastor

This letter is dedicated to every church pastor who has ever felt burned out, been in a ‘funk’ and could not¬†get¬†out, lost the respect of your staff or board, or simply had the passion of your calling to ministry fade away. ¬†

Dear Lead Pastor,

I’m sorry. ¬†I’m sorry for all the 1:00 a.m. phone calls that took you away from you family too often. ¬†I’m sorry about all the ridiculous expectations the church placed on you for so many years. Having to appear at every single event throughout the year. ¬†Making yourself available 24/7 to EVERYONE for absolutely ANYTHING. ¬†I’m sorry for all those anonymous I’m displeased with your leadership notes you found under your office door on Mondays. ¬†I’m sorry you didn’t receive THANK YOUs and HUGS more often for the compassion you poured into people. ¬†I’m so very sorry that your kids witnessed an unpleasant, un-Christlike side of church and ministry while they were growing up. ¬†You probably did not get to witness first hand much of the fruit resulting from your ministry either…I’m sorry for that too. ¬†I’m sorry that no one in your church really knows what it is like being in your shoes.

I’m sorry the church placed you so high up on a pedestal that it seemed impossible to ever step down. ¬†You should have never been put there. ¬†That position is reserved for Jesus. ¬†He’s the only one who deserves to be there…who can withstand the pressures that exist there…and the only one the church needs to see up there.

In those empty, dry, and lonely seasons…I’m sorry no one in the church offered loving accountability to you. ¬†They should have given you a paid and structured Sabbatical. ¬†Offering to provide you with the right counseling, or even find you a mentor. ¬†Now that would have been helpful. ¬†I’m sorry that did not happen.

Pastor, mostly I am sorry that ministry work has put a bad taste in your mouth for the church. ¬†As someone who has experienced this with a handful of friends who were pastors, allow me to encourage you. ¬†The church is made up of flawed people, therefore, it is flawed. ¬†That’s just the way it is going to be until Christ returns. ¬†Pastors do not have direct control over the health of their church congregations, staff, and boards. ¬†But WE DO have 100% control of our own personal health and leadership.

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Have you left the ministry? ¬†Or, have you been thinking about stepping out but haven’t quite taken the plunge yet?

Please hear me on this. ¬†If there is ANY amount of calling left on your life, stick with it…BUT make some changes. ¬†Take charge of leading by example. ¬†Be intentional about resting and recharging once a week. ¬†Empower others (staff and volunteers) to share the burden of hospital visits, speaking/teaching at small group gatherings and Bible studies, and even leading some team meetings. ¬†And for the love of all that is good and meaningful in the world, please find a mentor! ¬†Someone OUTSIDE of your church who is spiritually mature and will speak truth into you as a leader, husband, and father.

If the Lord has truly called you to ministry and others around you affirm that calling, then be obedient.  The church desperately needs healthy pastors.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  РGalatians 6:9

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Ideas For Creating Staff Connections

Church staff must learn to do life outside of ministry work together if they hope to lead as a family.

After giving a breakout talk at CMConnect recently, I was asked about practical ideas for things staff can do to create healthy, meaningful relationships with one another.  The purpose is to build family-type relationships.

Why?

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So, here are some fun possibilities to consider: 

  • Skeet shooting (yup, but not when your Lead Pastor is angry with you).
  • Have a staff member (and spouse) over for dinner just to get to know them better. ¬†Be sure to enquire about food allergies ūüôā
  • Bowling (bonding with fun competition).
  • Have a regular staff meeting with zero ministry work on the agenda.
  • Pray for each other’s marriages, kids, finances, health, and ministry concerns. ¬†Don’t skimp on time with this!
  • Experience a personality assessment together and discuss the results openly. ¬†Talk through what you learn about leading together that you didn’t know before.
  • Volunteer in someone else’s ministry area! ¬†This expresses love & appreciation for that leader, and models ‘Kingdom Work’ to the rest of the church.

Would you add anything to this list?

Please leave a comment below. ¬†I love hearing from my readers ūüôā

Note: If you are interested in receiving coaching on this topic or other ministry areas, feel free to contact me at BrentDumler@icloud.com. ¬†I’ll custom taylor something to fit your specific needs.

 

 

5 Huge Differences Between Leaders & Managers

“If leadership practices in the Church are not drastically different from the corporate world, the Church’s influence on the world will cease reflecting the person of Jesus.”

For the sake of this post, let’s define ‘managers’ as task-oriented individuals in high positions who’s only goal is to get results at any cost…and ‘leaders’ as people-oriented individuals in influential positions who’s goal is to accomplish objectives with their teams.

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Managers say, “You will get this done.”

¬† ¬†Leaders say, “We’ll get this done together.”

Managers tend to delegate tasks to those in specific positions.

   Leaders give tasks out to those team members best equipped to handle them. 

Managers lead others out the office they occupy.

   Leaders lead out of relationship which earns them influence.

Mangers make decisions out of what makes sense and seems logical.

¬† ¬†Leaders realize the importance of prayer, thinking ‘outside of the box,’ and involving others in decisions.

Managers tend to protect their position until they are offered a chance to move up the corporate ladder.

   Leaders do their best to bring one or two others along and mentor them to replace themselves one day.

 

That’s my list. ¬†Would you add anything? ¬†I’d love to hear your thoughts. ¬†Leave a comment below.

 

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