One of the most common questions I get from new friends and acquaintances is this: What’s the best/worst thing about being a pastor? There are plenty of blessings and there are plenty of things that make it difficult. My favorite thing about being a pastor is seeing lives change. Baptisms, weddings, mission trips, counseling, small groups, and Sunday morning worship are all places that I regularly witness life change. When I get to baptize someone I am given a spiritual high that lasts quite awhile. Or when I step back and see someone begin to use their gifts in ministry and they see how effective they are. Man, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what keeps me going and going.
The hardest part about being a pastor? Watching people self-destruct. It doesn’t happen all the time but my ministry involves investing my life into other people. Sometimes I invest a lot of time with a person or family and see so many positive things happening and then all of a sudden: infidelity, unhappiness with the church, sin, addiction, suicide. That’s the hardest thing. It hurts to see people I love fall into something they know better about. Sometimes it makes me a little gun shy to invest in new people. I don’t like those hurt feelings. But then I remember that if I don’t invest, I’ll never get to see the positive life change.
Sometimes I will go for some time without seeing much change in lives around me including my own. It’s a “winter season of the soul” for me. But I push through it remembering that I didn’t go into ministry because of the perks, but because God called me to.