I had breakfast with Pastor Steve Goens on Tuesday and as always I was blessed just by the man's character and plain old fashioned grit. Steve has pastored the same church for 28 years and paid a dear price. Yet he keeps smiling, and plowing, planting with precious little harvesting. He is convinced he is in God's will.
As we talked, Steve made a comment about a mega church which in the next few years will undergo a major leadership change due to the frailness of all men; the current pastor/icon is getting old. Steve told me what he knew of the coming structure and told me a certain man will be the administrative pastor, another will handle media issues and the other, the most well liked will be the 'face.' The 'face.' I have heard pastors called other body parts, but face is new to me. It's simple, the 'face' is the one who will be the most visible, the public pastor.
I think I would enjoy being the 'face' of our ministry.
As I read Mark Driscoll on Death By Burnout, I thought; "Dear Lord, I know this feeling." Mark, using numbers from Barna, Focus on The Family, says:
"80 Percent of pastors and 84 percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors."
Check out Marks fine article at http://mrclm.blogspot.com/2006/06/death-by-ministry-burnout.html
An old line among preachers is that most would attempt brain surgery with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Laugh at first and then give it some thought. Most pastors whom I know are wearing too many hats. The biblical gift and calling of pastoring is clearly defined in the New Testament and when we have many and major departures from the clearly defined duties, the feeling of being overwhelmed is normal, and when poor performance results discouragement sets in.
The truth be known most pastors and their wives are unqualified for what they or the church expects. Pastors must get back to doing what they do well and devoting even more time and energy to whatever this gift is. I have yet to see a tape of Peyton Manning working out at right tackle. I have lived long enough to know that God has not called my little wife of these many years as the major utility player on our church team. If the person responsible for a duty fails to perform that duty or have it done, it is not my wife's calling to leave her family go and do it. It simply will not get done. Mean? Not really and much easier than emotional breakdowns or divorce. Leaders must come to grips with not only their God given limitations, but with the responsibility of other team members to perform as unto the Lord.
Truth be known when we are filled/controlled by the Holy Spirit we each have the ability to do what Jesus has given to us to accomplish in His work. The rest? Long story isn't it.
Amen! Here's another point I would like to highlight:
"If the person responsible for a duty fails to perform that duty or have it done, it is not my wife's calling to leave her family go and do it. It simply will not get done. Mean? Not really and much easier than emotional breakdowns or divorce."
This one almost got me. I could have been in a mental institution for this very reason. My marriage could have ended in divorce for this very reason. But when the Leaders fail to see the wellbeing of the volunteers as just as important this is exactly what will happen. Thankfully The Holy Spirit Teaches and I was able to wise up and get down in prayer and fasting. I sought direction, God directed and today I am growing spiritual - something that was missing when I was 'Jane of all trade' as a church volunteer.