Skip to main content

What Makes a Pastor Successful?

If only there was an easy answer to that question.

I've found that each "success" in minstry brings with it the realization that there is much more work to be done. For each baptism, knowing there are millions more unreached people in the city. For each life-changing sermon for one person, 10 others who were sleeping the whole time. For each conflict resolved, 1,000 more on the way. Success and the idea of a job well done and completed seems like an impossible dream.

With this in mind, I've found myself relying on one thing to make myself feel successful. In talking with other pastors and seeing them twittering and updating their facebook statuses they seem to have the same definition of success as well. What makes a pastor successful?


That's all we can end up relying on in the end. We see all the things that can and should be done. Our church members constantly come to us reminding us of all that is wrong with the church. So, we just take satisfaction in being busy. We can't do it all but at least I know I put in a 70 hour work week to do my part.

This definition of success is damaging, unhealthy, and reveals failure not success. Pastoral ministry will never be easy and always full of challenges and hard work. However, we also need to acknowledge that ultimately Jesus is the head of the church and the church will move on without all our busy activity.

One thing pastors need to remember is this: We aren't exempt from the Sabbath. Sure, we have responsibilities on Sabbath and it will always be a day of work for us. However, that means there should be another day where we rest from work and acknowledge Jesus is the head of the church and we can trust that He will lead it even without us.

To all the Pastors: Stop breaking the Sabbath principle. Stop being busy. Stop thinking you run the show and it can't go on without you.

To all the church members: Next time you see your pastor, ask him when the last time he took a day off was. Then insist that every week he takes a day to rest and experience the joy of Sabbath. Also, at the next board meeting get the leaders of the church to support the Pastor in doing this so everyone knows and will make it a reality.


Popular posts from this blog

The Advent Struggle -- Part 2

There's been a lot of excellent discussion on the previous post. I've stayed out of it for the most part to let everyone else let their thoughts be known. I thought I would write another post explaining my thoughts in a little more detail. There has been some discussion over this issue of style versus theology (At least at the very beginning). I think I might have used that terminology and I want to clarify that I reject the false dichotomy of style VERSUS theology because our style and methodologies REVEAL our theology. The methods we use to present a message tends to reveal as much about the message as the message itself. In no way do I believe that all young adults want praise music, full band, nice lyric graphics projected, etc. However, I think that the 90% (no real data just a guesstimate) of Adventist churches who think of that worship style as being from the devil reveals one of the major issues at the heart of the crisis -- The Adventist response to culture. The tradit

The Advent Struggle

I've been trying to write this for literally a month but haven't been able to. Not sure why but it just hasn't flowed. So, here's the attempt: On a regular basis, I hear from or about friends who have stopped going to church. There are numerous reasons why they are leaving but one common thread seems to be a feeling that church has become meaningless. They've felt this for a long time but kept going because they hoped it would get better or just because they'd feel guilty if they didn't. But, they aren't going to play the game anymore. The young adult exodus out of the church isn't news to really anyone but there's something important that I think will make this crisis be more severe. When you examine recent Adventist history, there have been several crises of faith including EGW and Inspiration, Desmond Ford, and Creation/Science (to a small degree). What are the characteristics of all of them? 1. They are based on a doctrinal position and are v

A Jehovah's Witness Connection

This morning I was enjoying last night's episode of "The Daily Show" (THANK YOU TIVO!) when the doorbell rang. I couldn't figure out who it was through the peephole but I decided to answer the door anyways. A man had a little pamphlet which he gave me and asked me to read it and left. No pressure, just leaving it with me. So, who was it? My initial reaction was that it must be a Jehovah's Witness but I've found most of them are much more confrontational and never just leave something in your hand without arguing over something. I began to think it might have been an Adventist. Well, what did the pamphlet look like and what did it talk about? The front declared, "The End of False Religion is Near!" Inside it described false religions as those that meddle in war and politics, spread false doctrine, and tolerate immoral sex. On the next page, what did I see but decpictions of scary beasts and the scarlet woman of Revealtion. The text describes how false