Pastors Under Pressure Are Called By God by Dan Nelson

Pastors face many different types of pressures. The demands that are placed upon a pastor, in our modern, high tech, popular culture, are tremendous. It seems he is expected to be an expert in almost everything.

With the many strains and drains that pull a pastor in so many different directions, it is amazing that he is ever able to accomplish his mission. While expectations run high, many would be shocked to face the realization that he is just a man. It seems he is expected to have expertise in just about everything from traditional pastoral areas such as Bible interpretation, worship, and prayer to world history, ancient cultures and social dynamics, Greek, Hebrew, and world religion, apologetics training, and counter-cult methodology. Today’s pastor is often compared to those in the media who have had their messages edited and transposed into concise sound and video bites of wit and wisdom. Therefore he is also expected to be a top-level preacher and communicator, evangelist, counselor, psychologist, and on demand answer guy, ever ready to fix failing marriages and parenting mishaps.

Further, the credibility of the ministry requires him to be more than proficient in federal and state non-profit law, county tax codes, board operations, financial budgeting and reporting, and general corporate accountability.  If this were not overwhelming enough, growing churches often require the pastor to be well skilled in technology, management principles, group dynamics, time allocation, insurance and risk management, employment law, and organizational leadership. Throw into the mix the myriads of volunteers that are involved, a building that needs to be built and maintained, and the demands to understand blueprints and building codes (and I know I left out a few things) and you have a picture of today’s pastor.

The Scriptures have a lot of advice that meets the demands of the “pastor under pressure” in equipping him to lead in a generation that seems to require more. The wisdom of the ages still applies, however, “Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.” The Christ centered, biblically based model of leader development is one that puts first things first: Jesus. One must never forget who has called and ordained the pastor and whose church it is. Part of the beauty of the man after God’s own heart is the clear priority to the clarion call of Christ to serve him with all that we have.

In writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul explains to him the purpose and role and qualifications of pastoral leadership and exhorts him to lead by example in word and deed, in love, spirit, faith and purity. There is nothing in the entire letter about risk management, fiscal reporting methods, and knowledge of tax codes.

You may presume that I am writing to pastors, but I am not. I am writing to you; a genuine hearted Christian who may be tempted to have the wrong expectations of the man God has leading your church. Worse, when choosing a church, you may be drawn to evaluate the wrong criteria instead of the very things God tells us to look for: his godliness, the demonstration of God’s Holy Spirit in his personal life and family.

In short, God is still using humans. He is anointing men with his spirit to accomplish his work. But it isn’t easy and requires total focus. Many exhausted leaders get discouraged and give up. With so many pressures and pulls in various directions that is probably stretching your pastor like Gumby, what can you do to make answering the genuine call just a bit lighter?

Categories Pastors Blog | Tags: | Posted on November 1, 2017

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