Pastoring is weird. I’ve poured my heart and soul into people who now act like I don’t exsist. I’ve done hours of counseling and deliverance with people who later deleted me. I’ve publicly honored people who chose to slander me and act like I was a villain. And then there’s people I rarely have conversations with that honor and respect me to the highest degree. Some leaders have washed my feet while others have thrown dirt on my name.
Pastoring is weird. I’m too much for some, yet too little for others. The same preaching that convicts one person angers another. The same sermon that was boring to one was massively impactful to another. Praised for being so loving and graceful, yet slandered for being too loving and graceful in certain situations.
Pastoring is weird. We’re accused of just wanting money, yet we’re also expected to live in humble poverty like a lowly shepherd. If you have nice things, then you’re greedy and materialistic. If you don’t have nice things, then you must be in rebellion since God isn’t blessing you. People are always asking us for our personal time, money, and resources. Yet when we set healthy boundaries to care for our mental health and our families, we’re considered selfish.
Pastoring is weird. Everything you say and do can and will be used against you by anyone disgruntled, annoyed, petty, or even just bored. Every mistake is broadcasted as proof that you’re unqualified, yet victories seem less talked about because they’re expected. Your personal life, hobbies, interests, friendships, relationships, ministry alignments, and family are under a constant microscope and being monitored by people searching for faults and failures.
Pastoring is weird. You give everything you have and somehow still feel like you didn’t give enough. You never meet certain people’s expectations. You didn’t do enough according to someone’s opinion. And there’s always someone confident they could do a better job, yet all they do is criticize from the sidelines.
Pastoring is weird. You try your best to protect the sheep from wolves and somehow in the process you end up accused of being a wolf yourself. Sometimes other shepherds who don’t even know you spread lies about you and your flock.
Pastoring is weird… and yet there’s so much fulfillment in precious moments. The feeling you get when someone gives their life to Christ is beautiful. When you marry a couple who met at your church, bring restoration to a broken family, or dedicate a child that mom and dad prayed hard for makes everything else worth it. When you’re asked for by name to be with someone in their last moments. When you’re the first person they seek when they need hope. When the healing comes. When the deliverance comes. When the breakthrough comes. When someone who thought they had no purpose gets discipled and preaches their first sermon. When the glory of the Lord fills the room and the congregation goes wild without restraint in His presence. Nothing compares to this.
Pastoring is weird. It’s challenging, heartbreaking, and can be discouraging, but it’s also fulfilling, inspiring, and awesomely life-changing. I don’t have to do this, I GET to do this. Pastoring is not for the faint of heart. It can be brutal, but it can also be beautiful. Pastoring is weird, but I guess I’m weird too.
(Ps. Pray for your pastors and leaders! Statistics show that almost 20% of pastors battle depression and 85% of seminary graduates to enter ministry will leave ministry within the first 5 years. Preaching is only part of the job, we are at war behind the scenes, please war for us and with us.)