As you know I mentioned that I attended the Pacific Northwest IFCA Regional last week in Stevenson, WA. First let me say if God said, "Gregg, you have ten (10) minutes to move to Stevenson on My dime, I would simply ask God what did He want me to do with the other 8 minutes? It was so beautiful!
Second, on Wednesday, the final day of the conference, there were two (2) electives for the men to choose from. One of them did not interest me at all and the second was a close second. But I figured that the one I chose might be beneficial, and after all you can learn something from anyone, even if it is "what not to do."
I think the topic was an excellent topic. I simply think the speaker missed the point of the topic and took it a different direction. Had he remained on topic I think it would have been extremely valuable and profitable, especially to me.
The topic was Suffering in the Ministry. Without any detail or criticism our speaker zeroed in on the "suffering" that causes pastoral burnout. It was a ninety (90) minute presentation on the various (all most all non-spiritual) situations, reasons, and peoples that lend themselves to pastors burning out of the ministry.
Let me say that I learned from a car sales motivational speaker a principle that has served me well, he basically would state that, "If you don't like my numbers (referring to statistics) cut them in half. If you still don't like them, cut them in half again until you are comfortable, but whatever "number" you end up with, is that number satisfactory or unsatisfactory to you?"
I relay this principle because I felt his statistics were "high" and unlikely. Even if I cut them in half I am not sure I would buy into them without further evidence. So, regardless of how many pastors burn out, or how many do not finish the course, etc., I disagreed with his multi-point reasons of why pastors burn out.
As I sat there I took out last week's bulletin from church and summarized why pastors burn out in five (5) easy reasons. I blog this for the benefit of any pastor who might read this but I think these reasons can be applied as to why so-called Christians "burnout." I don't intend today to develop them, however, down the road I just might develop them further. Here are at least five (5) reasons pastors and/or Christians burn out:
- Failure to trust or have absolute confidence in God
They trust self, gimmicks, worldly ideas, programs, polls, & other pastors
- Failure to trust or have absolute confidence in the Word
When things don't work as planned, they circumvent the word by methods & programs
- Failure to die to self - ego/pride is not yet crushed
They identify with principles of worldly success rather than success w/God
- Failure to trust or have absolute confidence in the gospel
By not understanding the gospel, they attempt to do the work of the gospel
- Failure to expect, understand, and embrace suffering
Suffering is not bad church members, low attendance, etc- it is persecution