I love pastors and pastoral teams, I am one, having been in the local church ministry leadership since 1970. It was through planting two new churches and being involved in two church revitalizations that the Lord has taught me so many lessons in church life as well as my journey of life itself. If there were mistakes to be made, I made plenty of them. Yes, I have experience, but, experience is not necessarily a teacher in life, rather, it is where you evaluated that experience.
I am an imperfect human being and I’m very careful to point a finger at anyone because when I do I have three fingers are pointed back at me. 😊
I feel a heavy burden toward this cancer that I am about to share……. I can speak fluently of these very issues because they almost destroyed me, however, God’s grace intervened, and my heart was receptive.
My commitment to much research, reading, observing and interviewing brings me to my conclusions. I spent months writing my Doctor of Ministry Thesis, Forced Terminations Among Clergy: Causes and Recovery and while doing so interviewed dozens of pastors who have gone through the pits, lost their ministries and their families because of these issues. Others whom I interviewed were mentally and physically exhausted.
What is this cancer that is destroying pastors and pastoral teams?
During my ministry I have heard the statement,
“everything rises and falls on leadership.”
I believe the greatest threat to local church ministry is the emotional health of its leadership team. We cannot build effective great commission churches unless we deal with emotional health issues and the adversities of, and in, the heart. (Proverbs 4:23)