Why Are Pastors Depressed? A Look at the Research

"In the interpretation of the responses, the study authors articulated five things that contribute to stress and, one could argue, be correlated to mental illness in clergy." - Church Leaders

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TylerR's picture

Editor

EDIT: I deleted my entire comment. I meant my remarks to about the difficult, practical realities of ministry. I did not want, intend or foresee a discussion about abuse or church discipline. I will not share real-world examples, even highly sanitized ones, in the future.

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?

Craig Toliver's picture

A pastor shared this with me:

I came to realize that I was living in 'company owned' housing that the church didn't care about and that my income depended on 'flakes'. 

I resolved to be in a position where:

  • I owned my own home AND
  • I earned my own income

When his church failed to pay him, he got a job and declared himself a 'tentmaker'. He was much happier.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

We're saying the work is hard and the pay isn't great?

I thought people knew that going in, and had decided it was worth it. I'm not into mysterious callings, but like any work you settle down into, you have to believe it is what God wants you to be doing.

I suspect much of the "depression" out there is old fashioned discouragement. There are certainly a % of men in pastoral ministry who did not go into it with realistic expectations. In my own case, I did not leave ministry discouraged. The matter was taken out of my hands... and I increasingly think that's temporary (though not "brief"!).

Don Johnson's picture

However, some might not have been listening?

Back in the day at BJU, I had I think six years of the preacher's class. I think I only had to do it two years of grad school, not the whole time. One of the features of that class was pastors coming in and telling us about what the ministry was like, stories just like Tyler relates above. It certainly was sobering. Some of them I remember to this day, and thank the Lord for the guidance given.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

G. N. Barkman's picture

I have had similar situations to all three of Tyler's examples above.  I realized many years ago that I would have to develop a "thick hide" or I would not be able to handle the disappointments.  After while, I realized that my now developed thick hide kept me from experiencing the same level of empathy for people's problems that I had before.  It's tough to get the right balance.  Experiencing every problem at a deep emotional level will destroy you.  When you add up all the problems of scores of people, it becomes overwhelming.  Steel yourself against feeling too deeply, and you can become a bit calloused.  It seems the only two options are either emotional burn-out or callousness.  Any advice?   For my part, I regularly lay this concern before the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to give me the proper degree of tender feelings and emotional toughness.  "O to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer!"  

G. N. Barkman

M. Osborne's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

However, some might not have been listening?

Back in the day at BJU, I had I think six years of the preacher's class. I think I only had to do it two years of grad school, not the whole time. One of the features of that class was pastors coming in and telling us about what the ministry was like, stories just like Tyler relates above. It certainly was sobering. Some of them I remember to this day, and thank the Lord for the guidance given.

These were very helpful. In my day, we called it "McCallister Live," since Dr. Bruce McCallister would interview a panel of 5-6 pastors. While it can't tell you how to decide the specific cases you come up against, it can at least forewarn you that you will come up against specific cases that demand a unique conclusion, and that no, you can't expect to have textbook instruction for them.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Mark_Smith's picture

"most" evangelicals see Christianity one of 2 ways.

The first are the fresh ones who see Christianity as a self-help club. You learn how to have a great marriage. Be a great dad. Meet a wife. Get a raise. Get a better job. Become a leader. Very little Jesus except He wants the best for you.

Second is more traditional. They are the fire insurance crowd. They come faithfully every week. Maybe even tithe or give. But when you talk to them, they know nothing except every Christian cliche in the book. You try to teach on sin or love, and the parrot fires up," [whistle], God loves the sinner but hates the sin... [whistle]". They hear NOTHING you say, and get mad if you don't agree with their cliche. They never grow, and manage to throw sand on everything. In my Sunday school class one guy proudly shows everyone his Bible he got when he was baptized...60+ years ago. Looks practically brand new. You know he never reads it. A woman named Deborah... o boy. Once I tried to tell he her name is Hebrew for "the word" or "the message". A beautiful name. She gets smug with me. She deliberately misses any church event that is anything out of the normal, and is proud of it too. Our church is 500+ and I'll bet 300 or more are like this. They know it all, at least what they want to know. But they are so immature it is sad.

M. Osborne's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Experiencing every problem at a deep emotional level will destroy you.  When you add up all the problems of scores of people, it becomes overwhelming.  Steel yourself against feeling too deeply, and you can become a bit calloused.  It seems the only two options are either emotional burn-out or callousness.  

I agree that this can be a problem, and I do feel myself oscillating between being emotionally despondent over other people, and simply throwing myself into my day job with the attitude of, "I prayed; I tried; looks like you're past help; that's too bad; bye now." I haven't figured it out yet either. What's worse is when I find myself asking, "So, God, do you intend to transform anyone? Anyone?" Then it helps to start reviewing cases in the church where God is working in people, like the young people without parental support who take initiative to get themselves rides to church; the two children (brother and sister) who walk to church and attend regularly; the people who quietly step up and bear each other's burdens.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Jeff Howell's picture

We recently went through a time of 5 deaths in 4 weeks that impacted families in our church body. Two of those were touching my family in some way. Add to that the cares, life trials, and experiences of others, and these experiences of living in a fallen world can pile up in a hurry. Caring is costly ... and godly (Rom. 12:9ff). It is also helpful in going forward (2 Cor. 1:3-5). A person's view of God's sovereignty, goodness, and care will go a long way in helping or not helping them interpret life properly. Psalm 23 needs to be coupled with Matthew 7:24-27. Wise or not, the storms of life come. I guess I write this as a testimony to God's care of my soul and helping me through the hurt, while I had to help others and others helped me and my family.

Like Tyler, I could write of numerous heart-wrenching examples of situations going bad in families in our ministry and extended ministry. For sure, it drives me to my knees in prayer, and sharpens the reality of understanding the true reality and nature of spiritual warfare. Our enemy hates all of us, and works non-stop for the full destruction of every living image-bearer. The weapons of our warfare are not programs, degrees, full calendars, or appointments. I suspect a greater need for a deeper prayer life and ministry. Perhaps, we should encourage each other as we interact through the blog and in our reading, to not neglect pursuing deeper seasons of prayer as our spiritual ancestors did (Acts 4, 12), as they realized in a greater way the true nature of the battles. I truly ache for the guys who are struggling, but I do wonder, even of myself, if I am seeking to maintain proper motives and heart alignment. This critical for maintaining a persevering spirit (2 Tim. 4:7).

Mark_Smith's picture

but I think the frustration Tyler wrote about is the Bible has told us how to build a foundation to survive the storms. As Jesus said, if we build on solid rock, we will make it. But too many people that show up at church seem to care so little about basic Bible reading, discipleship, prayer, etc. They want you to pray for them, but they won't do it for themselves. I think it is that lack of connection to God and His Word that causes people to wonder how many Christians are really Christians! That is very disheartening.

Mike Harding's picture

I appreciated this article very much.  I am in my 41st year of being a full-time pastor.  I was a youth pastor for six years at my home church, Oak Forest Baptist Temple, in Oak Forest Illinois.  I was a candidate for FBC Troy in December of 1984, and by God's grace alone I am still the lead pastor of this wonderful church and Christian school.  That said, there are so many things that discourage a pastor, one understands why a pastor fights discouragement. I have had numerous opportunities to leave Troy and take other pastorates, but I have always turned them down.  I view pastoring a little bit like marriage.  You work through the ups and downs till death do us part.  Our congregation has put up with my flaws as much as I have put up with some difficult individuals.  During one's tenure in the ministry one's definition of success actually changes.  This is helpful to a pastor.  The biggest this or that is not the goal one should strive for.  How you define success will often determine the tenure, purpose, and quality of your stewardship.  Pastors need to love each other, pray for each other, help each other, sympathize with each other, and sometimes rescue each other.  My son is a pastor and one of my sons-in-law is a pastor.  I pray for them sincerely and empathetically. I have two former pastors in our congregation, both of whom now work full-time in a large family-owned funeral home.  They seem quite content and both are using all their pastoral skills in this new line of work.  I use them frequently to preach and teach in our church.  That's what I mean by rescuing.

Pastor Mike Harding

David R. Brumbelow's picture

We place the Focus on the Family Bulletin insert into our church bulletins once a month.  I also use Home Life, Parent Life, Mature Living magazines some in making hospital and other visits (stamped with our church name & address).  Sometimes I just leave a magazine or two in church pews or Sunday School rooms. 

I know this does not solve all family problems, but it seems to help a little and give some backup to the idea of a Christian family. Prayer always helps.  

And, do your best to take a day or two off each week.  Tell your church you need to do it to keep your sanity. 

David R. Brumbelow

Jay's picture

  • A couple at church has been married 20 years. Their marriage has been awful since day one. Terrible. I privately think they should divorce.
  • Wife and I did counseling with them for 9 months. They can't get past blaming the other person, and refuse to acknowledge personal responsibility. Tried everything. Won't budge.
  • Passed them to a counselor in church, a church member. She's worked with them for six months. She told me they're the most bitter couple she's ever seen. She privately told me they should just divorce.
  • On Sunday, just before sermon, I received word husband is thinking of taking family to another church "where [wife] will be held accountable." Wife is devastated and beside herself. Husband is essentially doing this because we refuse to agree that everything is wife's fault.

That's not bitterness.  That's abusive leadership and a stubborn unwillingness to obey Eph. 5:25-29 and Colossians 3:19 (at a minimum) on his part.  No wonder the wife is devastated if that's how he's dealing with his family.  

If his solution is to "agree that everything is wife's fault", then that's a clear sign that he's got some seriously skewed ideas of "leadership" in the home.  I'm not saying his wife is blameless - you mentioned that she's bitter - but he is clearly communicating a bigger problem than bitterness.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

GregH's picture

Jay wrote:

  • A couple at church has been married 20 years. Their marriage has been awful since day one. Terrible. I privately think they should divorce.
  • Wife and I did counseling with them for 9 months. They can't get past blaming the other person, and refuse to acknowledge personal responsibility. Tried everything. Won't budge.
  • Passed them to a counselor in church, a church member. She's worked with them for six months. She told me they're the most bitter couple she's ever seen. She privately told me they should just divorce.
  • On Sunday, just before sermon, I received word husband is thinking of taking family to another church "where [wife] will be held accountable." Wife is devastated and beside herself. Husband is essentially doing this because we refuse to agree that everything is wife's fault.

That's not bitterness.  That's abusive leadership and a stubborn unwillingness to obey Eph. 5:25-29 and Colossians 3:19 (at a minimum) on his part.  No wonder the wife is devastated if that's how he's dealing with his family.  

If his solution is to "agree that everything is wife's fault", then that's a clear sign that he's got some seriously skewed ideas of "leadership" in the home.  I'm not saying his wife is blameless - you mentioned that she's bitter - but he is clearly communicating a bigger problem than bitterness.

I thought the same thing when I read that, or at least my antenna went up. Obviously, there is a lot to the story we don't know but if I saw this happening, I would be suspicious. Abusers love to enlist churches to help them gain more power over victims.

M. Osborne's picture

Jay wrote:

  • On Sunday, just before sermon, I received word husband is thinking of taking family to another church "where [wife] will be held accountable." Wife is devastated and beside herself. Husband is essentially doing this because we refuse to agree that everything is wife's fault.

That's not bitterness.  That's abusive leadership and a stubborn unwillingness to obey Eph. 5:25-29 and Colossians 3:19 (at a minimum) on his part.  No wonder the wife is devastated if that's how he's dealing with his family.  

Maybe we're getting off topic, but...

If the leadership and counselors determine that more likely than not, the husband is going to a new church to escape accountability, against the advice of his spiritual leadership, that's potential grounds for beginning the church discipline process. It is not OK for a husband (or anyone) to behave this way. Obviously a church is limited in its "or else" options; and obviously there are weak churches that will accept new members out of a discipline situation without digging into it. But the disciplining church needs to communicate, strongly, that it's not OK. Nor would the wife be obligated to follow.

I am curious because in other threads, some have said that church's have no business in speaking into divorce situations. What about this situation? Doesn't the church have business to do something here?

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

M. Osborne's picture

GregH wrote:

 

I thought the same thing when I read that, or at least my antenna went up. Obviously, there is a lot to the story we don't know but if I saw this happening, I would be suspicious. Abusers love to enlist churches to help them gain more power over victims.

Welcome to the thread. I had you in mind when I asked my question above. In another thread, you were wary of churches speaking into divorce ethics questions. What about here? Should the church step up to call the husband out? (And yes, we don't have access to the full facts; sometimes there are legit reasons to move on to another church that can help you more; but assume there's good reason for the consensus that the husband is just blowing off accountability.)

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Jay's picture

I am curious because in other threads, some have said that church's have no business in speaking into divorce situations. What about this situation? Doesn't the church have business to do something here?

They're members of the church and under the pastor's authority.  The church absolutely has the business and standing to get involved.  It's pastoral negligence to not address the situation.

The same thing goes for the "terrible human being" problem.  Tell the wife to leave him, get her stabilized, and start the church discipline process on him as well. It's probably long overdue.  If the husband is so badly behaved at home that it's destroyed his daughter's faith in God, it's definitely time to get involved.

If anyone wants help or advise with these types of situations, please let me know.  I'll be happy to help you. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jay's picture

I know that it's easy for me to hop online and throw out the church discipline card, but I should also note that you have to be extremely careful in these situations.  Once the church starts putting pressure on the man to get his act together, he will likely take that out on her and the kids, so it is imperative that she and the children are safe first.  Get them to a shelter or someone else, and make sure you don't know where they are because it's likely the man will come to you for answers.

The most dangerous part of any dealing with abuse is when the wife decides to do something about it, and it can easily escalate to violence or even murder.  Get your elders and the police involved for sure and have a plan before you start making moves.

Here's guidance from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Abusers repeatedly go to extremes to prevent the victim from leaving. In fact, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. One study found in interviews with men who have killed their wives that either threats of separation by their partner or actual separations were most often the precipitating events that lead to the murder.

A victim's reasons for staying with their abusers are extremely complex and, in most cases, are based on the reality that their abuser will follow through with the threats they have used to keep them trapped: the abuser will hurt or kill them, they will hurt or kill the kids, they will win custody of the children, they will harm or kill pets or others, they will ruin their victim financially -- the list goes on. The victim in violent relationships knows their abuser best and fully knows the extent to which they will go to make sure they have and can maintain control over the victim. The victim literally may not be able to safely escape or protect those they love. A recent study of intimate partner homicides found 20% of homicide victims were not the domestic violence victims themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

dgszweda's picture

Here is my perspective as a lay person.  First, I think pastors take on too much and feel personally that they need to help solve the problems.  If the problem is not solved it weighs on their shoulders.  Part of this is admirable and an element of being a shepherd.  But in the end, the pastor cannot solve sin.  Even Christ could not convert Judas, who ultimately betrayed, probably a worse fate than most pastors face.  I think pastors need to develop a thought process where they cannot solve the issue.  Only Christ can do that.  In Tyler's example, while the wife and husband were bitter, this almost certainly the case when they were dating.  They both brought this upon themselves, and in some cases divorce might be better.  I think if pastors can approach this from not having to solve this and viewing their success through the lens of successfully solving every church issue, it might go a long way to helping themselves.  Second, many pastors do not surround themselves with good leadership.  We have talked about an elder model, and while I won't argue the pro's and con's, a solid eldership team can have a significant effect of helping a pastor through the challenges of leading a church.

So many pastors are trying to do the right thing, but I think they loose sight of the bigger picture,and what started out as admirable, has led to depression and burnout.

Bert Perry's picture

Agreed with Greg, Jay, and Michael that the husband of that one couple is likely deeper in than just incidental sins and failing to repent of bitterness, and that it likely qualifies as some level of abuse.  It also strikes me that in each case, there are questions I'd want to ask.  How does the terrible husband drive his kids away from Christ?  What does it mean that he is a "terrible human being". (we all qualify via Romans 3:23, no--there are specifics to act on here, whether Tyler knows them or not)  How did the 20 year marriage descend into bitterness--what were the husband and wife hoping for in marriage, and how did they hope to attain it?  Why does the young lady identify as "pansexual"?  

Questions like that.  And while maybe it is in fact better for a couple of couples to simply cut their losses and divorce, I am enough of a hopeful person--a "Pollyanna" if you will--to think that maybe helping them understand who they were, who they are, and who they hope to be might be good.  Above all, let's remember that the root word for discipline means not just to punish, but to train.  If we're only just now starting church discipline, maybe we're way behind the ball here.

Back to the central topic, I'd suggest that the reason some pastors get depressed is that they're trying to work an un-Biblical system, and it not surprisingly isn't working, hence they start to see themselves as the problem.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Agreed with Greg, Jay, and Michael that the husband of that one couple is likely deeper in than just incidental sins and failing to repent of bitterness, and that it likely qualifies as some level of abuse.  It also strikes me that in each case, there are questions I'd want to ask.  How does the terrible husband drive his kids away from Christ?  What does it mean that he is a "terrible human being". (we all qualify via Romans 3:23, no--there are specifics to act on here, whether Tyler knows them or not)  How did the 20 year marriage descend into bitterness--what were the husband and wife hoping for in marriage, and how did they hope to attain it?  Why does the young lady identify as "pansexual"?  

Questions like that.  And while maybe it is in fact better for a couple of couples to simply cut their losses and divorce, I am enough of a hopeful person--a "Pollyanna" if you will--to think that maybe helping them understand who they were, who they are, and who they hope to be might be good.  Above all, let's remember that the root word for discipline means not just to punish, but to train.  If we're only just now starting church discipline, maybe we're way behind the ball here.

Back to the central topic, I'd suggest that the reason some pastors get depressed is that they're trying to work an un-Biblical system, and it not surprisingly isn't working, hence they start to see themselves as the problem.  

Bert,

You've been reading TylerR for years here. Do you really think he didn't ask those detailed questions? Give the man some credit. He was sharing the challenges of pastoring, not parsing his counseling cases in full detail.

Don Johnson's picture

TylerR wrote:

I am so happy to hear about how BJU prepared some men here for the realities of pastoral ministry. I am encouraged by BJU and am grateful the Lord continues to bless them under Pettit's leadership.

Please note: this kind of training would be challenging for online education, in my opinion. Works best (and worked well) on campus.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

Agreed with Greg, Jay, and Michael that the husband of that one couple is likely deeper in than just incidental sins and failing to repent of bitterness, and that it likely qualifies as some level of abuse.  It also strikes me that in each case, there are questions I'd want to ask.  How does the terrible husband drive his kids away from Christ?  What does it mean that he is a "terrible human being". (we all qualify via Romans 3:23, no--there are specifics to act on here, whether Tyler knows them or not)  How did the 20 year marriage descend into bitterness--what were the husband and wife hoping for in marriage, and how did they hope to attain it?  Why does the young lady identify as "pansexual"?  

Questions like that.  And while maybe it is in fact better for a couple of couples to simply cut their losses and divorce, I am enough of a hopeful person--a "Pollyanna" if you will--to think that maybe helping them understand who they were, who they are, and who they hope to be might be good.  Above all, let's remember that the root word for discipline means not just to punish, but to train.  If we're only just now starting church discipline, maybe we're way behind the ball here.

Back to the central topic, I'd suggest that the reason some pastors get depressed is that they're trying to work an un-Biblical system, and it not surprisingly isn't working, hence they start to see themselves as the problem.  

 

 

Bert,

You've been reading TylerR for years here. Do you really think he didn't ask those detailed questions? Give the man some credit. He was sharing the challenges of pastoring, not parsing his counseling cases in full detail.

Mark, in light of a lot of the comments I've seen on threads like this, and in light of experiences I've had discussing similar cases in real life, I felt it was important to note that it's crucial to go beyond a generic accusation.  There is also the reality that in many cases, the participants are not going to share the real reasons, or quite frankly in some cases they don't even know themselves quite why they're doing things the way they're doing it.  It is a real challenge in many cases to suss this out.

Or, put in other terms, if you think the problem is obvious, you're just waiting to be blind-sided by reality.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Edited to remove Tyler's comments since he removed them. 

So the little bit that was given above is enough to declare abuse on the part of the husband? Has anyone considered abuse the part of the wife? Has anyone considered that we don't know enough to say anything? 

Gentlemen, why do we jump to conclusions like this about situations we know nothing about? "Slow to speak" is a biblical idea that is an actual quote. 

Two people, with a combined 15 months of counseling, say they blamed each other and were bitter. Both say they should divorce (though neither identified a biblical reason). Yet some here, with a couple of minutes and four lines feel qualified to pass judgment? Should not we all see something wrong with that?

 

Jay's picture

So the little bit that was given above is enough to declare abuse on the part of the husband? Has anyone considered abuse the part of the wife? Has anyone considered that we don't know enough to say anything? 

The entire point of my post was to alert Tyler that there may be more to this situation than just two people being bitter.  I also specifically mentioned that the wife may be bitter and have issues to work on as well, but if what the man said is true (and I have no reason to doubt it), I'd be very concerned.  That's why I specifically phrased it this way:

"I'm not saying his wife is blameless - you mentioned that she's bitter - but he is clearly communicating a bigger problem than bitterness."

Unfortunately, most men in counseling don't come in and admit their real problem.  I have yet to see an abusive spouse come to me and say, "Jay, my real problem is that I have screwed up ideas of authority and abuse my wife as a result."  That would make life a lot easier, but instead we have to parse it out based individual talks.  Anyone who's done pastoral counseling knows this.

Gentlemen, why do we jump to conclusions like this about situations we know nothing about? "Slow to speak" is a biblical idea that is an actual quote. 

Because if his solution is to blame her for bitterness when that isn't the problem at all, it will destroy her faith in pastors and also in God.  It may also destroy the children's faith in God, if there are children present - I don't know if there are or not.  It's a big deal.

Two people, with a combined 15 months of counseling, say they blamed each other and were bitter. Both say they should divorce (though neither identified a biblical reason). Yet some here, with a couple of minutes and four lines feel qualified to pass judgment? Should not we all see something wrong with that?

No one is 'passing judgment' as though we have all the facts.  They are Tyler's congregation, not ours, and I'm accepting his word that bitterness is the real issue.  My entire point in my post was to alert him that there may be more going on than what we were told, and that he needs to be careful.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Mark_Smith's picture

one reason pastors are tired and depressed is everyone else thinks they are a better counselor, or have a better answer.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

1 Co 4:1–4 1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

Looking back on my counseling efforts, in particular, they were a very mixed experience. Some I'm pretty sure I didn't help at all. Others, hard to tell. Some certainly were helped. It's not the kind of work you get to do with a high level of certainty. Well, sometimes, certainty is high--when the facts are clear and the right and wrong/wisdom and folly of the situation are clear. Blessedly, that does happen! But often it's quite a tangle and you have to just focus on what you know for sure, and deliver that. And the maybe's... deliver those as maybes.

But I do think pastors should be trained not to measure their value and success in terms of:

  • how many people show up
  • how many people respond to invitations
  • how many counseling situations end in things "all fixed"
  • how many people rave about your sermons afterwards
  • how often your opinion on a church decision is the option everyone backs at the business meeting

These are all results that may or may not come from your faithfulness. It's the faithfulness that is your success.

 

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