A Taxonomy of At-Risk Pastors

#1: The Solo Pastor... #2: The Silo Pastor... #3: The Super Pastor...#4: The Pragmatic Pastor...  - 9 Marks

1771 reads

There are 7 Comments

Josh S's picture

I  appreciate this article. I'm sure we've all seen many (all?) of these types of pastors. As an associate pastor, I'm grateful that my church hasn't turned me into a "silo pastor" but has allowed me to be involved in a wide range of pastoral ministries. 

Josh Stilwell, associate pastor, Bethany Baptist Church, Des Moines, Iowa.

TylerR's picture


I believe the solo-pastor model is sub-biblical and dangerous for the pastor. I know many guys make it work, but - at what cost to their wives, their families, their sanity, their spiritual life, their health?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Philip Golden Jr.'s picture

This is me. As the author described coming into the church office and no-one being there, accept the part-time secretary... that resonated with me... and I don't even have a secretary!

Yes it is hard. Extremely hard. His comment about pouring oneself out is often how I feel.

Is it "sub-biblical?" Perhaps. But it is reality for many, many, many churches who do not have the finances to afford another staff member.

How do I cope:

  1. God's grace: without it, I would have thrown in the towel after my second year.
  2. Church Leadership Relationships: I seek to know and be known relationally with my leadership. This can be dangerous because the hurt of a member leaving is multiplied exponentially when it is a leader who is also your friend.
  3. Friendships with Other Pastors: Knowing I can pick up the phone and talk with other local pastors and share my burdens, difficulties, and blessings is of immense comfort.
  4. Monthly Pastor's Prayer Meeting: During my first year of senior pastorate ministry, I spent nearly every month completely isolated, pouring myself into things that needed addressed at the church. It was difficult to say the least. Then I was invited by a local pastor to a prayer meeting that meets once a month. I have made it one of my priorities to attend every month since and it has really strengthened me. It is indispensable!
  5. Conferences: Another mistake I made in my first year was to not attend ANY conferences. While I had a generous budget for them, I saw them as an unnecessary expense for the church. Boy was I wrong. The encouragement of sitting and being fed the word was extremely needed.
  6. Monday's Off: I mean really off... like no church business at all (unless, of course, its an emergency).

Is it still taxing on myself, my mental health, my relationship with my wife. Definitely. But these steps have really helped to fill me back up after pouring myself out for Christ and His church.

Phil Golden

Philip Golden Jr.'s picture

Jim wrote:

In the above post ..

Or here https://sharperiron.org/comment/101665#comment-101665

Does the link to "Jim's Doctrinal Statement" work?

I need at least one confirmation (b/c of permissions ... I know it works for me ... but for others?)

Thanks - awaiting feedback from anyone

Although, I don't know that I can still interact with you now knowing that you use the NIV for private study. Haven't you watched any of Gail Riplinger's videos on YouTube!

Phil Golden

Jim's picture