All pastors need a reality check every once in a while. (Lightstock)

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This is for all my pastor friends. It may not make as much sense to readers who haven’t served in that role.

One thing that sets me apart from some pastors is that the amount of time I spent in the business world is greater than the time I have been in ministry. It has given me a unique perspective.

It’s also helped me realize I didn’t understand the unique pressures of ministry completely until I was in ministry. It’s made me want to encourage pastors whenever I can. That’s the point of this post.

Here are 7 strong, but hopefully encouraging words:

1. You aren’t promised church growth. Check the Scriptures for examples. You’re promised ultimate victory, but not immediate success. I do believe a healthy church is a growing church—either externally or internally—it’s producing more disciples, but sometimes you’re there for a season of preparation for future growth. That doesn’t always seem like glamorous work, but it’s necessary work.

2. You’ll never please everyone, as hard as you try. You can say what you think people want to hear and you still won’t make everyone happy. It’s better, therefore, just to do the right thing…following God’s direction…and not worry as much about making people happy.

3. Your call is bigger than your assignment. It’s true. And, it’s good. Your call is to a person. THE PERSON. The person of Jesus Christ. What group of people—no matter how great they are—is going to measure up to Him?

4. They are talking about you. It’s not just a feeling you have. They are. And, that’s not always a bad thing. You are an influence in their life, hopefully, and that naturally stirs conversation. Good and bad. Don’t be as concerned about that. Be more concerned about your heart and character than their behind your back conversations.

5. Your priority isn’t always their perceived priority for you. They often want you to do what they think you need to be doing. The problem with that is the number of competing perceptions in the church. You can never convince some people that you have responsibilities beyond their individual needs. That’s okay. You can’t understand everything in their world either. Just stay true to your purpose…to honor God with your time and give Him glory. Work for the pleasure of One and you’ll be fine.

6. They don’t love your family as much as you do. I’m not saying they don’t love your family. I’m sure they do. But, their wants (and demands) will sometimes trump their love for your family. That’s human nature. That means if you want to protect your family and your time with them, it’s up to you and not them. Love your church. Love them well. That’s your responsibility, but in the process remember that only you can love your family the way they deserve to be loved.

7. Your biggest reward is yet to come. You may not always hear how good a job you are doing. They may not always post “excellent, life-changing message” on your Facebook wall. Don’t live for that. It will make you very ineffective and cause pride to get in your way. Some days you’ll wonder if you’re making headways at all. That’s okay…your greatest rewards will be the ones for which you wait longest. And, if you are faithful…great will be your reward.

Pastors, I love you. Praying for you. Let me know if I can help.

What words of encouragement do you have for pastors? 

Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.

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