A few years back I enjoyed reading a little book about a missionary’s experiences while on deputation. Anyone who has been close to a missionary knows the joys and trials of trying to raise support. I have often thought someone should write a book for mission committees on how to handle the deputation process. Having been a pastoral candidate a few times, I am glad someone has written a book for pastoral search committees. Chris Brauns has done churches and pastoral candidates a great service with this book, subtitled Biblical Principles and Practices To Guide Your Search.
This one goes back a few years but appeared most recently in Voice, May/June, 2012.
Recently, I listened to an edition of Pastor Pastor, a radio program just for pastors, sponsored by Focus on the Family. The theme was “What I like about being a pastor.” That theme really put its hand upon me, because usually programs geared to the pastor deal with negatives such as coping with problems.
Being a pastor, I am well aware of the myriad of difficulties associated with pastoral ministry. These tensions erode the passion of many ministers, driving them out of the ministry. I have heard that from the time a career pastor begins his ministry to the time he finds another vocation is fourteen years. Such a high attrition rate is alarming when you consider the many years of specialized training that pastors have sacrificed to obtain. Some pastors are out of the ministry before they have paid off their school loans.
I will not attempt to thoroughly analyze such a complex problem in this brief article, nor will I deal with it without a sympathetic heart. My goal is to provide a measure of help to pastors who simply do not like being pastors.
I believe that a big part of the problem is that pastors tend to focus on the negatives of the ministry (and there are many) rather than the positives (and there are many).