Often when a ministry leader we look up to crumbles we are taken by surprise. Things like…
“You’d think the minister, of all people, would have himself together.”
“Who’d’ve thought her marriage was about to fall apart?”
“I never expected him to get involved in something like that.”
…start to cross our minds. But how much do we really know about their lives? Depending on our involvement in church (i.e. how active we are and how often we participate in various church services and activities) we probably see this individual no more than 4 hours any given week. If we are being more realistic, we probably only see them one or two hours a week, and when we do see them it is while they are “on duty,” for lack of a better phrase. Is this the full picture of the man or woman whom you have seen fall? Not at all.
What I know is this; more often than not these burn outs don’t happen overnight. There is a long path that leads to the moment where everything finally hits the fan and then proceeds to fall apart. My aim is to examine five beliefs an individual in ministry may hold onto that can lead them towards the path of destruction. While I certainly believe that a man or woman in ministry has a high responsibility to take care of their selves (a topic I have taught on and could write about extensively) my hope here is that church leaders and congregation members alike would take a step back and see how they may be contributing to these beliefs, and learn how they can encourage their beloved ministry leaders away from them.
So here are five beliefs that will destroy your minister, pastor, or ministry leader.
1) I have to be perfect.
2) No one cares about me unless they need something.
3) I’m the only one in the church who cares about _____.
4) I’m the only one capable of doing ____.
5) I can’t rest because there is too much to do.