What are some of the greatest needs of pastors in America? Here’s some of the biggies I’m hearing today:
- Difficulty in Time management: Keeping the plates spinning, lack of vacation, margin, balance. We need to rise up in mobilizing volunteers to help lead the church, to empower all people to become “pastors.” Key: the members are the ministers. Pastors have to schedule and keep a vacation time every year. We need to free up our pastors to find margin and balance. I wonder if you’re not following God’s “work-6-rest-1-model” you are living in sin. Busy ‘seasons’ are a mirage – life is busy, and it seems the church is busier.
- Lack of Network Support: Burnout prevention, moral purity, encouragement. Pastors feel like they are alone. Frustration leads to failure. Is it possible to build a network of churches and pastors that encourages, supports, confronts, loves and empowers church workers to a) stay in ministry and b) stay faithful to their calling and standard?
- Little Spiritual Development: Time with God. This seems like the most basic task of the pastor, but anyone in ministry knows there’s much to do before getting to God. This cannot be, we must be intimately connected with God on a regular basis. Turn off the phone, add an appointment for it in Outlook, block access to everyone but God.
- Shallow Relationships: Marriage and friends. If anything is going to get short-changed, it’s the relationships. The pastor will be at everything the church does, but he will hardly know anyone. He or she will know everyone and know no one at the same time. This must change – the pastor has to have a strong marriage and strong relationships.
- Lack of Skills: Budgeting, Team management, conflict resolution. In most churches the pastor must wear about two dozen hats. The pastor must have practical training on a regular basis – at a conference or formally in continuing education. Volunteers who are gifted in the areas of weakness must rise up and fill those places of need. The pastor should take a non-vacation conference week a year, including the weekend off.