We live in a day when many pastors and church leaders are walking away from the church. 2020 has ushered in challenges that many leaders find overwhelming and unprepared to walk through. Many pastors were already emotionally and spiritually drained before the pandemic and this election cycle, and this season just pushed them over the edge. I have been there. I wanted to walk away from church leadership. The only way I have endured this season is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and some leadership changes I made before we planted Greenville Community Church in 2017. Today, my simple challenge for you is not to quit on a bad day or a bad week or here in a bad year!
Here are a few adjustments I made that helped me stay in the game. I will process them in a simple list form, but these are steps that helped me personally reset and not walk away from my calling as a pastor.
- Get a ministry coach or therapist. // If you are thinking about quitting, this is the most critical step you can make. It would help if you had feedback, wisdom, and someone that will challenge you.
- Explore your call, gifting, and passion again and embrace it with your whole heart. // Do you remember why you do this? What is driving you, or what is your motivation? You need to find that again.
- Don’t just take time off to recover; take control of your time. // A vacation is not going to fix this. A sabbatical will not correct what drove you to this point. You need to take control of your calendar and make sure it’s set up to help you recover and thrive in the middle of real ministry life.
- Leverage soul care in your calendar. // Who are you learning from? What does your private spiritual time look like? Are you taking the time to pray and personally worship? Add this into your calendar!
- Stop traditional and social media from warping your attitude. // Limit it! Really, it’s on you to limit the influence of media on your soul.
- Limit what drains your soul and focus on what brings you life. // You may be spending too much time doing things that crush your soul. You have to give that away and limit it in your routine.
- Go home, take days off, and develop a sabbath routine. // Prioritize being a good dad and spouse and friend if you are single! Without rest and a manageable work routine, your soul will implode.
- Find some other pastor friends you can be real with. // You need friends that are not on your staff that you can lean on. They are out there.
- Be real…lead your people in worship, prayer, and serving with joy. // Practice what you preach.
- Find a hobby, and enjoy that pursuit! // Find joy and rest in something else that brings you life and makes you smile.
Ready to quit? Need to talk? Feel free to reach out and let’s talk.