I’m a pastor. By nature there are a myriad of things that we preacher types struggle with. In fact there are things that most people don’t even realize that we struggle with day in and day out. Some are obvious and some are not. Let me start by giving you just a few.
- We struggle with being accepted
- We struggle with loneliness
- We struggle when you don’t show up to church. (Even though you say it is not personal, we take it that way)
- We struggle when offerings are down
- We struggle when our families suffer
- We struggle with criticism
- We struggle with faith (We are human too, and wrestle through the same things you do.)
- We struggle with insecurity
- We struggle with pride
- We struggle with letting you down
- We struggle with failure
- We struggle with success
- We struggle…
Truth is, we struggle just like the next person. We also know that we have a hope and truth that we preach and teach. The problem is that some days we struggle with that hope and truth too. I know for our preaching team we pour hours and hours into each message we preach. By the time our messages hit the stage on the weekend we have a minimum of 20-25 hours into it. We wrestle with Scriptures. We wrestle with God. We even challenge each other to make sure that we are preaching the full and accurate counsel of God’s Word. We struggle through all the questions you might have in response. We dive into words, texts, and resources to make sure we have all our facts straight. When we finally birth this baby we call a sermon, we are ready for you to wrestle and struggle with it the way we have.
When I get done preaching, as is with most preachers, I am mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. Sunday afternoon I don’t take naps—I take sleeps. However, there is one thing that keeps us pastor types restless. It is in my opinion one of, if not, the top reason we struggle. Are you ready for it?
We Can’t Change You?
No matter how well we preach the Word…we cannot make you love Jesus more.
No matter how much time we spend reading, praying, studying, wrestling, and laboring…we cannot make you live your lives differently.
No matter how much time we invest, we don’t have the ability to transform and redeem souls.
In all honesty, that is not our job. But if I am real honest, and I am being fully transparent here, I wish I could make you change into the Christ follower that I know you desire to be. I wish I could wave some wand and you would realize the gravity of God’s grace in your life and you would never look back. I wish that I could make your marriage richer, your kids less rebellious, and your addictions go away. However…I can’t…and neither can any other pastor.
In fact, I honestly think it is our greatest struggle as pastors because we cannot change ourselves either. The only change agent in our lives is Jesus. When I as a
pastor human being realize that I cannot change myself, or anyone else for that matter, I am free to simply give you Jesus and let him change you. I am free to hear and see the words I study and let Jesus change me. However, at the core of every fear and insecurity I have as a pastor, I wish I could change you…but that would make me Jesus. So today pastor…church goer…friend…family member…human being…find freedom in knowing that the only one who can change us is Jesus himself. May that free us today to be the best pastors and Christ followers we can be.
How about you? What is your greatest struggle/fear?