I've survived undershepherding aka pastoral ministry for about four decades; and as you've read if you've been reading recent editions, I am more excited and enthusiastic for more than ever before.
The overwhelming majority of my seminary classmates and peers and...have not and are not.
If you scroll way down, you can read how I've survived.
In short, it's been a Psalm 62 thing pour moi.
Whenever I write/talk about this kinda stuff, somebody thinks I'm having a self-pity party or something.
Cynically, people assume I'm venting or "working out" some particular vocational, personal, or whatever challenge.
O.K., the ticket for using a cellular while driving and being afraid of you-know-who when it comes to the inspiration/indigestion regarding Je suis Charlie have kinda bummed me out.
Yet, really, I've never really considered quitting, running away, cashing in, or trying out for the Yankees again.
While I've had a few low moments since May 8, 1977 - most self-inflicted and some from the enemy through accomplices in sheep's clothing infiltrating church membership rolls - I've never had my joy in Jesus and His calling me to undershepherding distracted or even dissipated for more than 24 hours.
Again, read Psalm 62 and scroll way down for more about how I've survived...if you or someone you know needs some...
Sooooooo I'm not writing this for myself or because I've ever considered throwing in the towel because of the enemy through accomplices in...
I just know lots of sisters and brothers in similar gigs are quitting or considering quitting and there are some ecclesiastical superiors and congregational supporters who care and wanna help.
Buuuuuuut many peers are not and need your...
The Rev. Mick Snider wrote The Need for Ministry to Ministers that starts, continues, and concludes in the next section.
I got it from one of Pastor Snider's friends who just happens to be one of mine.
I got permission from both to share it with you.
Pastor Snider is a Pentecostal Holiness pastor.
Recently, he was, uh, forced out of his church; and now he is preaching revival and evangelistic services along with writing redemptive things like this.
Donald D. Snider, II: The Need For Ministry To Ministers
In the United States, research indicated 1,800 ministers leave the ministry each month.
New Horizons Ministries (NHM) is a regional ministry of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). NHM provides training and leadership to ministers and churches in eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. The purpose of this project was to analyze the job satisfaction of ministers who hold either a Minister’s License or Certificate of Ordination with NHM and the IPHC in order to determine if they were at risk of abandoning the vocation of helping people through Christian ministry.
The research design for this project was a needs analysis in which a survey was used.
The data source was comprised of a sample size of 50 ministers and spouses who responded to a survey of 20 questions. The survey was administered by an ordained minister who assured the respondents of anonymity. The raw data was collected during an annual NHM Minister and Spouse Retreat in October 2008.
The results of the study concluded the data were reliable and the ministers experienced
reasonable job satisfaction and were not at risk of abandoning the vocation of helping people
through Christian ministry. Also, there was no significant difference in total scores between the ministers and their spouses. However, a major shortcoming of the study was that the data were collected at a retreat in which the participants may not have felt comfortable revealing their true feelings. With that shortcoming in mind, 3D sequential graphs and drill downs revealed the peaks and valleys view of the scores of the ministers and their spouses. Exploratory analyses, including an importance plot, a box and whiskers plot, and main effects ANOVA were conducted to show the seeming most significant responses. Suggestions for future research and hypotheses were given. This study was not to be considered as confirmatory.
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Scratching the Surface
(A Brief and Incomplete Guide for When You Wanna Quit)
He asked, “Does it ever end?”
He was referring to the disappointments, defeats, disillusionments, tests, trials, temptations, and tribulations of living in an increasingly mean, maddening, and miserable world, country, and…[Gulp!]…even church.
I answered, “No.”
Groote aka Kempis wrote a lot about that way back in the late 14th century (Imitation of Christ): “So long as we live in the world, we cannot be without tribulation and temptation.”
Sadly, “There is no order so holy, nor place so secret, where there be not temptations or adversities.”
Getting back to my friend’s interrogative and my declarative, “When one temptation or tribulation goeth away, another cometh; and we shall ever have something to suffer.”
Pointing to the only way to overcome all of the meanness, madness, and misery to which no one is immune, he counseled, “The beginning of all evil temptations is inconstancy of mind, and small confidence in God.”
Simply, Jesus saves…if we let Him.
Having survived it so far, here’s what I’ve learned about, uh, surviving it:
- Intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the solid rock foundation that overcomes it. Jesus punctuated His most famous sermon with that good news (see Matthew 5-7; especially 7:24ff.); echoing the Psalmist: “God inhabits the praises of His people.” In other words, if we hang out with Him, we won’t get hung up by/on it;
- I paid close attention to the course on original sin; and learned to expect next to
nothing from most people because most people aren’t really into Him as evidenced
by their selfishness, control needs, greed, inability to serve unless leading, irascibility, irregularity, and irreconcilability that leave little room for Christlike traits like selflessness, unconditional favor, mercy, reconcilable intentions, redemptive passions, forgiveness, and other, again, Christlike traits;
- While expecting next to nothing from most people who don’t even try to overcome
the original sin in their DNA, I expect everything from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as promised throughout Holy Scripture and summarized by Psalm 62; and
- I know my speck-inspecting is limited by my log-wearing. I must always be ready
and even eager to confess my sins against Him and His, repent from my sins against Him and His, ask forgiveness from Him and His, and pray and try to be/do
better as I receive forgiveness from Him and His.
Simply, Jesus saves…if we let Him.
Survival depends upon God alone.
Yeah, there are some folks who allow Him to use them in saving missions.
They get it/Him.
Praise the Lord!
They are the few who can say with the apostle, “It is no longer I who live but it is Jesus who lives in and through me.”
In short, I have survived it because of my increasing intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, expecting nothing from most people, expecting everything from Him, and recognizing my own sins against Him and His that encourages my increasing intimacy with Him to survive the world, country, and…[Gulp!]…even church.
Simply, Jesus saves…if we let Him.
Are you still looking for a different way to do church?
Are you tired of the SOSO RELIGION?
Are you put off by posers in pews, politics, and pulpits?
Are you searching for something/Someone
real, honest, timely, and true to…?
Try our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main!
Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.
And so much…
Blessings and Love!
The reason your not a Quitter Pastor is. You want to SAVE people. You don`t want to see any SOULS lost. That`s why you have been in Ministry for 40 years.
You have taken a beating on the way but never gave in to the Devil. That takes a Strong Person.
GOD Bless your Strength.
Have a Great Day. God Bless
Our Family of Faith Church.
Amen. And thank you.
Depending upon the grace of God, true!
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