"If you were just... then the church would grow."

by Brien
(Illinois)

My first pastorate has lasted longer than many of the statistics you will find. Most only last a year or two but I am now at seven. The church has been through some terrible times. The last minister was run out of the church. I have led it through the loss of other ministers, a prominent leader committing child-molestation, and the exodus of nearly half the congregation. The church has a reputation as a minister killer in the christian community in this area of the world. I have given and given for years trying to lead them to a relationship with Christ but back in April I hit the final stage of burnout. I went catatonic for three days. I couldn't eat, speak, and didn't even move for three solid days.

I know I am burned out as my passion continues to struggle to revive. I spent days on end crying and even now am just doing my job so I can feed my family. I have contemplated running away or even leaving the ministry entirely. I have asked God so many times if this is what ministry really is.

Jeremiah is my best friend and Jeremiah 20:9 marks at least some small portion of my life to this day. I know the truth but there is just nothing left of me. No joy. Little hope. I keep trying to get up but there is never enough to get moving or standing again. I still love these people and see glimpses of what I used to be. I really need help to find what I used to be before even more irreparable damage is done. I know I am at a critical stage of brokenness. I found this place hoping that someone, somewhere could help me before I just quit completely.

A war rages in me constantly attacking why I don't have the passion to shepherd anymore and every time I read about church leaders needing passion it feels like a knife is twisted further into me. The leadership here has apologized for what they have put me through which is nice. Unfortunately that doesn't repair the wounds and help me stand up to fight again. I want to storm the gates of hell but right now I couldn't storm a wet paper bag. Thanks for reading. I doubt I have said anything new. This is my story. I started out passionate and the great troubles that come with ministry have dismantled me. The constant criticism and never being enough have crushed me. I have no idea what to do next.

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