At Energize Ministries, we’ve watched many pastors and ministry leaders open up about their struggles, vulnerabilities and frustrations recently. For example, Pastor Nate Kingsbury from Shady Grove Wesleyan Church wrote an in-depth article for Piedmont Christian news about the impossible task of trying to please and serve everyone in a congregation full of people with differing opinions, beliefs and needs. He also shared how hard it is for pastors to have real friendships with people and the difficulties of being fully there for his church and fully there for his family.
Another example of this honesty are these thoughts shared recently by the wife of an area pastor, “Just being VERY real here but it’s really disheartening to come to church to only be sought out to be given more tasks to do, more things to handle or messages to relay. I’m exhausted and my brain is on overload. I desire to worship and focus my attention on God just like everyone else.”
This openness and transparency is healthy and refreshing. It’s so important for the people who are leading and serving in our local churches to recognize their human-ness and to share their needs. It’s not easy for anyone, especially people in leadership roles, to be open about their vulnerability. It’s risky to admit you need help.
As church members, we can and should encourage this kind of openness. We need to give our pastors and ministry leaders permission to be imperfect. We must create a culture where grace and forgiveness are offered much more readily than criticism and negativity. When our pastors do express a need or a struggle, we need to respond quickly and lovingly. And, most importantly, we need to regularly pray for our pastors and their families.