Ed Stetzer from LifeWay, recently re-posted an interview with Charles Stone, writer of “5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them“. In the article from Stetzer’s blog, Stone notes that he, considers it a “pre-crisis book, one that can help us avoid those issues that can kill a ministry, a marriage, or passion for God. I contracted both LifeWay research and Barna research to survey nearly 2,000 pastors. The findings were quite dramatic.”
Through the research, over 1,900 pastors and over 1,000 people not involved in ministry were surveyed.
More from Stone, “Ministry killers that ultimately cause a pastor to quit ministry, become bitter, or compromise his values are much like termites. Though hidden just beneath the surface, they will eventually harm a pastor, his family, and his ministry unless he ‘inspects’ himself and takes appropriate action. Though tiny in size, they are deadly in power and can kill.”
When you read his book, if you discover some of these killers lurking around here is a four-step process to a solution:
Do you have a safe person in your life with whom you can process ministry frustration?
What really frustrates you in ministry? Have you looked deep enough to discover those issues?
How do others in the church see how you handle ministry frustration and what needs to change?
Who needs to know how you feel and how should you communicate your needs and feelings?
Serving is a blessing and a challenge. As in all things, you have good days and you have bad days. Sometimes, if you are called into the ministry, God may lead you to a place away from family, friends, and loved ones. I have never read this book, but after researching it, I hope to have the chance to read it one day. Though I haven’t read the book, I have lived through several moments in ministry where I experienced very low points with staff and congregation members at one particular church. When all you have is your wife and family, the last thing you want to do every day is go home and complain about a staff relationship or conflict within the church. You need that accountability partner to confide in, that is not associated with your church in any way and that is grounded in His Word.
If you are part-time or a volunteer, there are pros and cons to this subject. A pro would be that you are not at the church long enough in the week to be involved in any major decisions and you basically show up to lead the services and then go to your other job. The con would be that you are not at the church long enough in the week to be involved in any major decisions. (Can it be a pro AND con??)
God sometimes takes you through these valleys to lead you to the mountaintop. I can say that I have experienced both and God is faithful through it all. Another book to research would be: “When People Throw Stones” by Blaine Allen (2005, Kregel Publications).
Ed Stetzer’s primary role is Vice President of Research and Ministry Development for LifeWay Christian Resources. Check out Ed’s blog here. You can also follow him on twitter. Here is Charles Stone’s website and you can also follow him on twitter. Finally, here is Charles Stone’s video promo for the book.