Confessions of an Associate Pastor – Part 2

Confession #2

Some weeks flat out just wear me out.

There, I said it. I’m not bulletproof. And by tired I mean, mentally, physically, spiritually, and all the other “ally” words not mentioned. Ministry is exhausting. Dealing with serious problems week after week eventually wears even the strongest people down. Those that say they aren’t are lying.

There’s a reason why we tell people pursuing ministry to really count the cost. It’s a distinct calling into full-time vocational ministry. It’s exhausting, often unrewarding, and will ultimately cost you your whole life. The work of a pastor leaves them worn out emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Pastors would like to tell you they’re worn out, but they can’t because you expect too much of them.

I have a drawer in my desk at the church office. It’s full of encouraging letters, amazing testimonies and thank you notes from people in the church who thought enough to share their gratitude. Anytime I’ve just received an email from an angry person calling me a name, or letting me know all that they disapprove of, or that I offended them with my constant hillbilly references, I go right to this stack. It helps me to be reminded of why I do what I do and that it’s worth it. Encouragement can be like medicine to an aching soul. It’s like receiving an injection of gratitude, positivity, hope and strength all at once.

Something I’m slowly figuring out (not because I’m stupid…just a little slow) is that people who make a difference in life aren’t balanced at all. They’re so passionate that it burns in them so strong, it drives them towards greatness. This driving passion burns in every area of their life. They don’t give 50% to career/ministry and 50% to marriage/family, they find ways to give 100% to both while making Jesus the center of it all. That’s what I’m striving for. That’s my standard. Living this way is simply not easy. It’s rewarding, but also exhausting.

So keep this in mind some week, if you ask to meet with me one evening and I respond with “I’m booked solid this week.” Just know that what I really mean is “I’m tired,” and “I REALLY value time with my family.” 🙂

Oh yeah! October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I can’t think of a better time let your pastor know how much you appreciate him AND his family. It’s not JUST the thought that counts, take it from me, even a simple card means a lot.

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