What Your Pastor Might be Wrestling with Today

Maybe you’ve never thought about the topic of this post. If not, I hope you continue to read. As a former senior pastor, oft-interim pastor, current pastor-at-heart, and trainer of pastors, I talk almost every day with pastors. I think like a pastor every day. Here are some things your pastor might be wresting with today.

  1. “This sermon stinks.” Even the most disciplined pastors sometimes find their calendar unexpectedly filled by ministry needs – and the work of producing a sermon gets pushed aside. The resulting message seems disorganized and weak. We know it, but have little time to fix it.  
  2. “I fear I haven’t given my family priority time this week.” No pastors I know start the week with plans to neglect their family, but many feel guilty at the end of the week. Balance is seldom easy.
  3. “I need to pray more before Sunday.” Even pastors struggle with prayer, but all I know want to be prayer warriors. They especially want to stand before God’s people knowing they’ve prayed well. Sometimes, that means much praying on Saturday. 
  4. “I hope this Sunday will be better than last Sunday.” Too many pastors are discouraged before Sunday ever comes. They want to exude joy, but ministry battles make it difficult.
  5. “Is God calling me to serve someplace else?” Not every pastor is wrestling with a vocational call, but some are. Many who are wrestling are doing so alone.
  6. “I wonder if ____________ will be a problem this Sunday.” You fill in the blank. Sometimes it’s a person. Sometimes it’s a ministry. Sometimes it’s media equipment. Sometimes it’s a family member.
  7. “I’m not sure I can do this job.” It can be overwhelming sometimes. Sermon preparation. Counseling. Team preparation. Budget oversight. Grief ministry. Occasional building maintenance. Baptisms. Weddings. Funerals. The work can be non-stop, and it affects the eternal. Nobody can do it on his own.
  8. “Can we pay our bills this month?” “We” in this question might refer to the pastor’s family, or it might refer to the church — or both. In any case, the pastor bears the weight. 
  9. “I really want to believe God can do something powerful this weekend.” Most of us long for God to do something about which we can say, “Only God could do that.” We want Him to move in a way we’ve only read about in the history books – but we’ve never seen it.
  10. “I need somebody to pray for me today.” Perhaps the pastor’s lonely . . . or discouraged . . . or bound in sin . . . or tired of conflict. Recognizing a need for prayer and actually asking for it, though, are two different matters. Pride sometimes keeps us from asking, and we wrestle on our own. 

Pastors, what might you add to this list? 


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