Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Monday and the Pastor Wants to Quit

It’s universal for pastors. Mondays can be the hardest day of the week for us. Honestly. Some Sunday’s are so difficult or draining that the day after makes a pastor wish he was anything except a pastor – even a shoe salesman, like Al Bundy (i.e,. Married with Children).

Yesterday was a very successful day, one of our best ever. Yet, I woke up at 2:00 AM this morning, eyeball wide, stress out, and unable to go back to sleep. I walked outside, sat down in the driveway, and rehearsed Sunday’s events. I never went back to sleep. Daylight finally came. It was a long night.

Not every pastor wants to quit all the time, but every pastor thinks about it sometimes. I’ve had my share of those Monday mornings too. The simultaneous feelings of depression and elation weighs heavy on Monday. It is the post-Sunday Monday where I recount every word I said, review every detail of the service, evaluate every criticism, and cherish every victory. It’s here I ask myself, “Why is it that I am a pastor?”

At first, the answer is hard to find. When I answered the call to the ministry I didn’t sign up for constant criticism from half-committed church members; I didn’t sign up for the constant financial pressure of hoping that enough would come in each week to pay the bills for the church and advance the cause of Christ; I didn’t sign up for having to deal with consumer Christians who feed for free each week; I didn’t sign up for the petty concerns such as it’s too hot or too cold, too fast, or too slow. Further, I didn’t realize that when I answered the call into the ministry that I would be required to be omnipresent (i.e, to be present with everywhere with everyone at all time), and to be all-knowing (omniscient).

So, why is it that I continue to pastor and preach? Because God has called me, that’s why. I don’t quit because He has promised that His Word will not return to Him void. I stay in the ministry because along the way I meet a few people who “get it." I continue as a pastor because every now and then it becomes glaringly apparent that my efforts do make a difference in some people's lives and they appreciate it.

Ultimately, I do not quit the ministry because God has proven Himself faithful to His church, to me and my family, and, most importantly, to His Word. God uses messed up churches, inferior preachers, and impossible situations to demonstrate His power and faithfulness. This is why I do not quit.

God’s call is too powerful for me to do anything else.

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