Little Pay / No Time Off / Constant Trouble!
Right out of college I took an interim position at this little church in my home town. Their previous pastor was dying of cancer and so I took the position. The pay was literally 100.00/week and no benefits. Thankfully I had a secular job that I was working to put myself through school.
After less than a month they offered me the position and because my wife and I fell in love with the people, and we felt God's calling, we took it. After a year and a half, I cut all my bills to "bare-bones" and went to the then 20 member church and asked them if they would step out on faith and hire me for 1600.00 per month, I would quit my secular job and go full time at the church. They accepted and thus began an incredible hard road. With no benefits and coupon clipping being the only way we survived thus far, the church has only fluctuated and not grown. We loose two and gain one. We loose one and gain two. My wife and I just had our first child and find that the bills are growing and we've run out of "frills" to cut. I haven't had a vacation since 2008 (currently its Oct. 2011) and with the church bearing "seemingly" no fruit, I am facing incredible burn out.
My heart is knit together with the children we bus in (using two beat up vans) and the few people we have feel like family. At the same time, I know my actual family can't keep putting up with a progressively more and more depressed leader. And frankly as I sit here trying to plan my sermon for Sunday... Well, I'm writing this post and not doing that, so that should tell you where it is on my priority list. But I know I've got to stand before God's people in two days and feed them something. Added to that, no one seems to really care to honor me or my family in any way. And please don't get me wrong, I am not in it for the praise by-any-means, but a simple thank you would go a long way right now...
I just don't know what to do... I've sacrificed all I can and then some and nothing seems to be working. I face a seemingly never ending future of constant depression as the world around us just continues to crumble!
Any advice would be appreciated...
Weary in Well-Doing