I’ve been in the ministry for forty-two years: seven with Teen Challenge and thirty-five pastoring in NYC. That’s quite an achievement considering how dangerous the ministry is. It’s perhaps the single most stressful and frustrating working profession, more than medical doctors, lawyers, politicians or cat groomers (hey they have claws).
Approximately a third drop out of the ministry, most after only five years. Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages end in divorce. Eighty percent of pastors feel discouraged in their role as pastor. Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living. Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression and report they don’t have someone they consider a close friend.
My story has been different. Sure, I have my scars, but I’ve lasted and remain in pretty good shape considering. After all these years I’m still on fire for Jesus, happily married, raised a loving family and I’m as excited about the ministry as I was when I started out.
How have I’ve been able to do it? By the grace of God, mostly. But if I’ve done anything right it’s that I’ve never tried to go it alone. I’m a community man and a team player. Family, friends, comrades-in-arms, the kindness of strangers, I’ve relied on them all. And I some how I’ve had good coaches along the way…
I recall one time early on when the coaching of a lay leader in my church saved my ministry and me. I was a greenhorn pastor that had gotten myself in hot water with my congregation. Because of my immaturity and insecurity I had managed to tic a lot of people off. They were on the brink of mutiny and I was on the verge of losing my church.
This lay leader (and good friend) came to me and offered to help me figure things out. He didn’t tell me what to do or offer me a ready-made solution he had thought up. He mostly listened, asked good questions, helped me reflect on where I had gone wrong, on my weaknesses, my blind spots as well as my strengths and what I had to offer. He also prayed with me. He helped me come up with a plan that eventually healed the wound I had created and restored my credibility and trust. It wasn’t easy. But with God’s help it worked and I’m here to tell the tale thanks to good coaching.
Coaching is a vital component in stable, effective, and lasting ministry. I can attest to it. Do you need coaching? Hopefully this website will
provide greenhorns preparing for the ministry and pastors that are already hard at work on the front lines with practical main & plain help. Let me know what ministry challenges you are facing. Perhaps we can address them on this page. Contact me with your ideas and comments at: [email protected]