“Tales from the Dark Side” was a television program many years ago, but this post has nothing to do with the program. While many think that being a pastor is glitzy and glamorous with people who only work 1-2 days per week, that is far from the truth. It can be one of the loneliest vocations. I was blessed to have some wonderful friends in ministry who helped see me through some rough times, but not everyone has that system. What makes it so rough?
- Other pastors can be competitive and will step all over you to “get to the top”. What they don’t realize is they will answer to God for caring more about building a personal kingdom that God’s kingdom.
- Other pastors can be quick to condemn those who are struggling. I wept when I received a message from a man in my first church who was looking for a new place to worship. He said, “Matthew, no one preaches restoration like you do.” I could not comprehend this, but I have seen it many times and wish I could unsee it.
- Other pastors can be quick to betray the confidence of another pastor in the form of a prayer request. So many people use the hypocrisy of concern to cover gossip.
- Other pastors can often be fair-weather friends. They will hang out with you if it benefits them, but dare not ever need them because they may become too busy for someone who cannot benefit them.
What does this cause? Depression, isolation, and sometimes suicide. If you are reading this, be a blessing to a pastor. If you are a pastor who is reading this, there are still some great people out there who can be a safe place for you to turn. May this be a reminder that the church does not need to be cut-throat like the corporate world. It’s time for the Christian community to be what Christ called it to be.