The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).
Being a pastor is hard.
Many churchgoers may not realize this because they tend to see us at our best. After all, our job is to encourage others, love them and give them hope. But our jobs are not always easy.
Recently, a reporter emailed me to ask for my thoughts on the intense stresses that clergy in America face. I told him, “People may think pastors simply preach sermons, do an occasional wedding and have a relatively easy life. That is simply not true. In reality, we often find ourselves dealing with some of the hardest situations imaginable: like trying to help save a marriage that’s on life support, attempting to give hope to a young person who is addicted to drugs or offering comfort to a family that just lost a child. Perhaps the hardest part is people find it easy to critique us each step of the way as well.”
Then I added, “Pastors are people, just like everyone else. We are broken people who live in a broken world. Sometimes, we need help too.”
These last few sentences were later quoted in an article that has gotten a lot of attention.
I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
The reporter also interviewed another pastor who said, quite frankly, “Had I known the ugly side of ministry – the hospital visits, burying the dead, being in the room when someone is dying and trying to comfort their family… Had I known all that, I don’t think I would have accepted being a pastor.”
I understand how this pastor feels, because I have been in his shoes many times and have struggled with the same feelings. Yet my experiences have driven me to draw a different conclusion: I have found that the hardest times in ministry — the points when I have felt like giving up — have confirmed my calling as a pastor. It’s in these moments I have experienced the most profound expressions of God’s love and grace.
I have been a pastor for almost 50 years, and I consider it a great honor.
Yes, I have been with parents when they heard the news that their loved one died.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Laurie