Pastors, I get it. I've been there before myself. Ministry doesn't pan out the way you thought it would. It's more difficult than you realized. People just aren't responding. You pray for God to give you the ability to open up the ground underneath the feet of those heathens you serve. Don't act like you're above it. I know you've been there. So have I.
And it's not always ministry. Sometimes it's the personal stuff of life. My dad passed away at the age of forty-one. I was eighteen years old. He spent three weeks in an intensive care unit after the aortic valve in his heart exploded. He never woke up from surgery. He was in ministry. I was training to be in ministry. That kind of stuff isn't supposed to happen to us "good guys." I resented God for years. I was bitter. It hurt my relationships. It hurt my ability to effectively minister in the church.
Pastors, it's time to take a break from being the counselor and go and see one for ourselves. Do some research. Make a phone call. Start talking to someone today.
You need it personally.
Your marriage needs it.
Your kids need it.
Your church needs it.
It's time to deal with your past. Your dad was a drunk. Your mom yelled. You were abused. All of that stuff is real and it affects you for real. Stop pretending you can just beat it by manning up.
Imagine the freedom when you are able to let go of hurt and anger about your past. Imagine the weight being lifted off your shoulders when you finally realize that God is not dependent on you to grow His church. Imagine the relief when you can finally tell someone about that awful thing that happened to you and you can begin to move past it. Imagine walking out of the shadows and into the light.
Pastors, it's time to care for your emotions. Jesus said this in Matthew 22:37...
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart.
The heart is the seat of your emotions. You can't love God with all of your heart if you are stuck in bitterness and anger. It's impossible to love God with ALL of your emotions if...
...you are frustrated because "your" church hasn't grown.
...you can't let go of your past.
...you are hiding in shame because of an addiction.
If you are going to love God with all your heart, ALL of your emotions, at the very core of who you are, then you need to lead yourself well. It's time to deal with your junk.
Pastors, you need a counselor.
I mention two ways to begin dealing with your own past; counseling and getting accountable.
How are you caring for yourself emotionally?