Over my head?

by DS
(Alabama)

I’m a relatively new Pastor. I’ve only been active in the ministry for 3 years and due to loses in our church, I stepped and grew to fill the voids that were left.

Six months ago, I was promoted to Pastor almost without warning and with no consultation prior to the announcement. The last two months have been especially difficult. My family has had difficulties with this transition and it has greatly impacted my life in nearly every area. Sadly, many of those impacts have been negative. I understand it’s not an easy calling. But so far, it’s been far harder than even my wildest thoughts seemed.

My church is not large. It’s full of good people who love God. They are responsive and seem genuinely interested in our messages. My problem is, I often feel as if I have no help. The previous Pastor abruptly stepped aside out of frustration and told me repeatedly that he would continue to be involved. He is our chief musician as well. The problem is, since I’ve taken over, he sporadically shows up to church and rarely ever seems interested. Most of what he says from the pulpit are complaints about a lack of involvement from other people. I’ve been praying for months for God to give me guidance and direction. Without him, I have no musician, I have no one to help me on the platform, and I have no one to offer me guidance. I’m also my church’s primary Sunday School teacher.

I feel as if I’m in over my head and I’m not sure what to do anymore. Is it wrong of me to wonder if I’m not ready for this or that maybe I’m just not called to Pastor?

Comments for Over my head?

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Burnout
by: Beatrice

You are headed for a burn-out and the previous pastor is not yet healed of his own.

Teachings to the congregation on the importance of serving in the kingdom are necessary.

Christianity starts with membership into the body of Christ, then goes into maturity where we grow, then missions where we reach out but then also into ministry, where we serve within the body of Christ.

As pastors, we are to ensure that our congregations know this during discipleship classes lest they just take in and 'constipate'.

Every pastor must educate his congregation on what Christ expects of them as children of God- to love Him, serve Him and obey Him.

Teach, delegate and step back. Read what Jethro told his son-in-law-Moses.That's leadership.

Dead Wood
by: Pastor Steve Monty

Dear DS,

Your experience sounds similar to mine, and it stayed that way until I took the advice of an older Pastor friend.
That advice was simple but harsh, cut the deadwood.
For a tree to grow and produce fruit, the deadwood needs cutting off, this seems drastic but without it the tree doesn’t produce fruit, or if it does it’s stunted and withered.
Your deadwood sounds like the previous Pastor, if what he is doing from the pulpit is as you say he is the cause of people not wanting to do anything, if you constantly deride people they become disheartened and discouraged, those who do help think that their efforts are not appreciated and those who might help are discouraged from doing so.
Where in Scripture does it say you need a musician? You can sing with instrumental accompaniment, even if your not good at it.
You feel your doing too much? Then do less, at the least you need Sunday morning service and Sunday school, kids are the future.
However what is more important is your family, they come first, God instituted marriage and the family first, your family is the prototype for the church your to minister.
Hard decisions to make, I know, been there myself, but afterwards the church flourished and grew.

God be with you DS

Support
by: Pastor T

Hey brother - there are many alternatives here. I have been Pastoring now for 16 years and it is challenging but most of those challenges can be eliminated with strategic planning and implementation. We made a decision that if we didn't have the staffing resources to maintain a program we would not implement the program. It is not feasible for a Pastor to be the main source for all programs. That will cause burnout quickly.

We had to release ourselves from the pressures of trying to implement programs that we felt were beneficial but may not be appropriate timing. This was a huge relief.
You can't make people support. You can encourage them to support but not make them. We also have recently opened the door for members to come to us with program ideas that are on their hearts and we help them develop the program. This has been more successful.

Musicians wise we have gone through 2 sets of musician teams since we've started. Musicians in general are very hard to find and who will be committed. We have moved to CDs and our Praise teams sings along with. We have been doing this now for 7 years now and it seems to be very successful. I hope this encourages you. It's ok to think out the box and do things differently than before. Pastoring comes with challenges but you certainly don't have to create additional ones.

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