The Three Struggles of Pastors

- by Chad Graves -

In the last week I have had meetings with multiple pastors. It has been a reminder and an eye-opener. Pastors all over the country are dealing with intense stress. Recently, 3 different churches asked me if I knew of anyone I would recommend as a possible candidate for them. Many churches are without pastors.
I will repost something I worked on a couple of years ago below. Pastors, if you are reading this, I hope this is helpful to know you are not alone.

Pastors tend to have three struggles:
  • The struggle with people. 
  • The struggle with self. 
  • The struggle with God.

These three struggles and how you respond to them will determine the length of your tenure.
The average tenure for a pastor is just around 3 years at a local church. The average tenure of a man’s pastoral ministry is ten years according to some research.

I have been interviewing pastors and studying what a pastoral tenure looks like over the years. These Interviews range from pastors who have been in ministry 37 years to men who have burned out to fresh new pastors in their first years.

I think these are common stages in most pastorates:

The Honeymoon Question:
Can you believe we get to do this?

The Titus 1:5 Question:
How am I going to address issues?

The Loss of Innocence Question:
How can God bless such brokenness?

The Harvest Question:
Will success or failure become my identity?

The Team Building Question:
Who will be invited to the table?

The Crisis of Self Question:
What do I do when I am at the end of myself?

The Decision Question:
Will I Keep Doing this?

The Boredom Question:
Is this it?

The Emptiness Question:
Why has this become so painful to do?

The Sustained Question:
Will I be faithful?

The Mentoring Question:
Will I leverage my influence?

The Legacy Stage Question:
Will I finish well?

Well I hope this helps. I love pastors.  
May God help them as they faithfully continue.

Jonathan Herron

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