Sunday, March 20, 2005

Turn the page on pastoral rage

Ed Rowell's article on pastoral rage is a must-read for ministers, even if you're not dealing explicitly with rage in your own heart (HT: SmartChristian blog). The problem for ministers, Ed explains, arises from a variety of issues:
All agree ministry is more complex than we ever bargained for. People's lives are more broken than even ten or fifteen years ago. The personal cost of doing ministry is higher than anyone ever dared tell us.
There are several reasons for pastoral rage. This one, somehow, seems to cut to the heart of the matter:
Dissonance between calling and reality. I came into ministry with a red-hot passion to change the world and revitalize the Church. Instead I found myself surrounded by hurting people who expected me to help them.
Solutions? Ed mentions several, including this one:
Give up the occupation of people pleasing. A friend recently experienced in his ministry a rebirth of sorts. When I asked what had happened, he responded, "After a dozen years in ministry, I discovered it wasn't my job to make or keep people happy."
It's good stuff, worth reading.


Blogger Rev. Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:23 PM, March 21, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Mike said...

"After a dozen years in ministry, I discovered it wasn't my job to make or keep people happy."

Milton, I find myself wondering just how positively the nice people who pay his salary took that discovery? Personally, my own solution was to take that element out of their hands by becoming a tentmaker.

3:24 PM, March 21, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good queston. I may yet go back to tentmaking, but right now I'm planning to plunge back into full-time ministry June 2. In my last work, I focused primarily on preaching the Word. I think most members were happy enough, but not a couple of the ones with the power to fire me. Not to resort to cliches, but I do believe we're called first to be faithful, and not necessarily successful. Ministry gives us ample opportunity to learn forgiveness, doesn't it?

3:34 PM, March 21, 2005  

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