I was reading an article today that highlighted a high-profile ministry leader and the demise of her marriage. As a pastor who has been through divorce, it was heartbreaking to read the story. It brought back to mind all the pressures of being in the spotlight and the feelings of living in a glass house. People often watch you and wait for you to fall while they don’t put the same biblical expectations on themselves. REVELATION: GOD’S STANDARD FOR HOLINESS IS THE SAME FOR EVERYONE!
The pressure of keeping up the persona of being a Proverbs 31 woman or the man who is bold as a lion can be draining, especially considering that we are human and will falter and fail. We, as “ministry personalities”, are often expected to have a certain level of personality which often pushes many of us off a cliff. In the effort to keep up appearances, please people, and “do ministry”, we lose our families as a result. I’ve heard ministers justify missing key events in the lives of their children in the name of ministry. Someone else can preach in my absence before I miss the birth of my child or some significant moment in their life. God instituted the family BEFORE the church (the order is plain in the book of Genesis), and I understand that my family is my first ministry.
To those who expect certain things from ministry leaders: From the bottom of my heart, please be understanding if your pastor is not present for your toe surgery when his son is being presented with a special award. Don’t mess up his date night with his wife because you have a complaint about the music.
To those who are in the ministry spotlight: no fame, prestigious event, or huge honorarium will buy back the time you forfeited with your spouse and children. People will be mad if you say no, but do it anyway. You only have one chance with your family. Don’t waste it!
5 thoughts on “The Danger of the Ministry Spotlight ”
I remember someone telling me early on in ministry
3. Your Ministry
Don’t ever confuse 1 and 3. It might be a little simplistic, but it was helpful.
This is such a needed message today. So many Millennials in particular cite the cynicism and hypocrisy of churches that turn on their minister as soon as their minister is shown to be “not perfect.” The issue of putting certain people on a pedestal is as injurious as it is prevalent. Yes, leaders should have “higher standards” – but churches need to have higher standards of grace than they currently do. Thanks for reminding us.
Running a ministry is not a reason not to balance our lives.
Great word, and so needed to encourage ministry leaders not to give in to unrealistic expectations that are placed on them. Their is freedom in being able to say no.