Welcome to our new page for ministers. I’ve been in some form of professional ministry for quite a while now and I’d be the first to tell you that it’s a hard gig at times. By professional ministry, I’m not talking about a mere career path that one takes, but a calling on one’s life. For me it means that I am called to what I do the same way a surgeon is called to Medicine. I don’t do it for a pay check, though it’s nice when I get one, I do it because it is who I am. There are many joys in this calling. But there are many heart aches and trials as well. So the purpose of this page on Kingdomology is to support those with a full-time ministry calling in their lives. Our main author for Healthy Pastors is a guy named Tom Salter from California. I met Tom when we did a church plant in the Nor Cal a few years ago. Tom has a huge heart for pastors and he is actually the brain child for this page. Another author is a very good friend of mine going all the way back to my college days. Todd Owen has had experience on the foreign mission field, the located church ministry, and is presently directing discipleship and care for missionaries with New Mission Systems International. Our first post on this page is coming from Tom. So if you’re involved in full-time Christian ministry; be encouraged. If you’re not a “Pastor” or “Missionary” you can still feel free to enter into discussion and learn more about ministry in the 21st century. For now . . . Here’s Tom:
Can you Make it to God’s Finish Line?
A disturbing incident today. A pastor I had approached to go to Africa as part of our teaching team, wanted time to think and pray before deciding. Fair enough. But now, I need answers and have to make my own decisions. I consult their website to get his contact information, and there on the site is his resignation letter. Sigh. This man of God is dynamic. The church under his leadership has experienced major growth. But now, it turns out—at a price. A very heavy price. Gratefully, there was NO moral failure. Just burnout, a burnout so complete, that recharging the batteries doesn’t evidently seem possible. In his letter he referred to sleepless nights. He spoke of the toll the ministry took on him and his family. He concluded: “I knew it was time to draw a finish line…” Sadly, although not absolutely foreclosing the possibility, he believes the pastoral ministry is not in his future.
The Apostle Paul could declare, “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished the race.” I’ve heard pastors say, “I’d rather flame out than rust out”. I respond, “Are those the only two choices?” My ministry, Barnabas Factor, is predicated on the idea that preventative self-care will allow us to last all the way to God’s finish line. Are you pacing yourself to do that? Or are you ready to draw your own finish line?