Lonely Pastors and the Love of Christ
The suicide of a young, successful, and beloved pastor last week rocked the Christian community here in Southern California.
Many reasons contribute to the jarring statistics on pastoral discouragement, depression, and even suicide. We’ve created such a pastor-as-superstar culture that there’s little room for failure.
I’ve spent my entire four decades as a pastor feeling that my life has mostly been a grave disappointment to God. And I’m not alone. Pastors live under intense pressure to be a spectacular preacher, a creative visionary, a solid CEO, and a compassionate shepherd. No wonder we’re such a weird, wounded and depressed lot trying to live up to that job description!
My only hope has come from the Bible’s insistence that Jesus is worthy of enormous trust and that I should live in radical, even reckless confidence in His love.
When Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened,” He knew we would grow weary and disheartened along the way.
Especially if we embrace His calling to shepherd His people.
And this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I want to help pastors and church leaders actually believe that Jesus’ invitation to give rest to weary souls is to them as well as to their flock. I want to reconnect overwhelmed shepherds to the love of the Great Shepherd.
I don’t think Jesus ever meant for His ungdershepherds to be the loneliest person in church on a Sunday morning.
But that’s the way it is.
If you’re a lonely pastor stumbling under the burden of this outrageous job description, give me a call.
I think I can help.