Rainy days and Mondays always get me down....
I'm generally a pretty positive person, there's not much that gets me down. But every once in a while I find myself in a funk. Many seem to think that pastors should never feel discouraged or lonely or have questions about their faith or the direction of their lives....Boy are those people wrong.
I don't mean to burst your bubble...but pastors have the same struggles, the same concerns, and the same temptations as the rest of the members of their churches. I may be the only pastor to admit it, but on many Mondays I'm ready to write "I Quit" on my forehead and have even written out a letter of resignation more than once. Now before you panic (or celebrate) unnecessarily....I have never tendered a resignation (officially or unofficially) on a Monday. I love preaching and I love the church. The ministry is what I have been called to and all I have done since I was 19. I may not be very good at it, but it's who I am.
Then why the struggle on Mondays?
Very simply.....I'm human. I grow tired, distracted, discouraged and confused just like anyone else. The pedestal that pastors are placed on and the pressures and expectations we labor under can rob the joy from us on any day. Add to that the burden of caring for a congregation of any size and you have a recipe for difficulty. It is a simple truth that every minister can and will grow weary under the load.
Then why do I keep coming back?
Because I'm called. This is what God has called me to do. I can do nothing else and be in the center of His will for my life. Besides that, I love it. I believe in the church, that messy bunch of people who drive me crazy most Sundays and who wake me in the middle of the night to pray and weep over. I willingly accepted the task and the responsibility when I said yes to God's call all those years ago. I had an idea of what the life I was signing up for would be like, but I was unprepared for much than followed. Like many others, I have been tempted at times to walk away, but at the end of the day I cannot. I am called and I will serve until I die or until God calls me to another avenue of ministry.
So why this post?
I want to encourage the 4 of you who might actually read this blog to commit yourselves to become champions for your pastor and other ministers. The ministry is a lonely profession, but it doesn't have to be. I want to encourage you to spend time in the days ahead to encourage, cheer on, and surprise your pastor. A kind phone call in the middle of the week. An encouraging note dropped in the mail or placed in an office door. A small monetary gift slipped into his pocket...any of these things will go a long way toward helping your pastor stay the course.
I've gone on too long already. Some would say that I've said too much. What I have done is speak my heart and managed to make it through an extremely difficult Monday without writing "I Quit" on my forehead...
At least until next Monday.