I have a lot of hope for the church these days. The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to look at ourselves and make some necessary decisions to move forward in today's chaos.
On the other hand, I won't be surprised if some pastors resign, possibly unexpectedly, after normal—whatever that is—returns.
1. Some are just worn out. The stress of the first days of COVID-19 may seem like a hundred years ago, but the same pastors who worked nonstop for months still face the stress of almost daily changes. Some are hanging on right now because of the crisis, but they're losing steam.
2. Some were already wrestling about their role prior to COVID-19. They were already thinking about stepping down in early spring, and some will take that step when the timing seems more appropriate. Prior questioning, current fatigue or better timing might eventually lead to resignation.
3. Some were already talking to another church prior to COVID-19, or they've begun that conversation in the last few months. These strange days have affected the ways churches seek a pastor, but the search continues. Some pastors have stayed where they are for the good of the church today, but their heart is already leaning elsewhere.
4. Some pastors' churches that were struggling before COVID-19 are now facing the reality of their church struggling even more. In some cases, the church may need to reduce salaries and benefits, and the pastor may need to find other employment. In other cases, the pastor may simply have lost a vision for guiding the church to growth.
5. Some, I fear, will resign because of marital and family issues exacerbated by the stress of these days. None of us is immune from relational struggles, and the strain of sheltering at home and quarantining has only compounded these struggles for some—including pastors.
6. Some—particularly those who did not quickly learn to shepherd their church from a social distance—may have lost a bit of their heart for their congregation. Other factors may well contribute to the decision, but any emotional distancing can become a first step toward dislodging oneself from a church leadership role.
So what's my point with this post? Even pastors I know are struggling still want to be in the center of God's will. Let's pray for, encourage and love those God has called to guide His church!
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.