Paul's Passing Thoughts

12 Reasons Church Hirelings Quit

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 13, 2018

Came across this article on Twitter this morning; my comments in red.

Over the past several years, I’ve kept an anecdotal record of reasons pastors tell me they’re thinking about stepping out of a senior pastor role. Here are the most common reasons I’ve heard, in no order of priority:

“I’m tired of the conflict.” Some churches are tougher than others to lead, and the conflict gets tiresome.

Because when everything is about salvation, unity that comes out of sanctification teaching is non-existent.

“I don’t know what else to do.” Sometimes this reason is simply an honest admission: The task feels bigger than the leader feels capable.

Right, it’s impossible to sanctify people with justification. 

“It’s hurting my family.” It’s difficult to stay focused and energetic when your family is struggling.

Again, when sanctification is the progression of justification, abundant life is absent. 

“We can’t pay our bills.” Some churches simply don’t pay a livable wage for pastors.

Pay for pastors is related to their ability to buildup infrastructure, not people. Just like in business, your value is determined by your ability to build the brand. 

“I’m not sure I’m called to this role.” I’ve talked with leaders in tough situations and leaders in good situations who feel this way.

Because eldership is a gift determined by the Spirit, not a position that you purchase by going to seminary.

“I’m burned out.” It happens to even the best senior pastors. Growing stress creates ongoing weariness.

Again, everything salvation will have a tendency to become boring, especially when the Spirit will not honor it.

“I don’t like preaching week-to-week.” Often, these leaders are shepherding churches that require preparing multiple sermons per week.

Again, coming up with about 170 different ways to preach on the same thing every year is difficult. 

“I can’t live up to their expectations.” When you know you’ll never meet what the church demands, you’re defeated from the beginning.

Because you are considered the expert; being a philosopher king is a tough racket. 

“We’re lonely.” It’s sad, but some congregations don’t love their pastor well.

Right, because you are fusing justification and sanctification together which circumvents “faith working through love.” Duh. 

“I’ve lost my vision for the church.” No vision generally equals no future focus—and little interest in investing in this church.

Because the only real focus is keeping everyone saved by returning to the cross every week. It’s a limited vision to begin with. 

“I’d rather be an associate pastor.” I hear this reason from young pastors more than older ones. At times, they feel overwhelmed by the work of the senior role.

This is a way to continue getting a check and making whatever is wrong the senior pastor’s  problem. 

“I’m tired of bad situations.” Usually, this reason comes from pastors who’ve endured more than one difficult ministry—perhaps, I suspect, of their own making at times.
In many cases, the pastors who express these concerns don’t actually quit—but they at least think about it. What reasons would you add to this list?

See all of the above.


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