Pastors on the edge

I never forget that a lot of pastors I meet on lecture tours or in DMin courses are on the edge, hanging on by the slenderest of threads.  Some make it.  Some don’t.  The dropout rate for seminary-trained pastors is estimated to be as high as 80 per cent.  So I am committed to being an ear…I’ve found there is healing in just showing each other our scars.

Calvin Miller in Letters to a Young Pastor.

That first sentence.  It gets to me.

It gets to me because I’ve been there in only five years of being a pastor.

Hanging on by the slenderest of threads.  On the edge of tears for half the day.  Every day.  Still there in the church only because, no matter how hard it was, I knew of no other path that God had for me.

Some make it.  Some don’t.  So far I have hung on.  And days have got better.  Now, we are in what feel like the best days that LifeGiving Church has ever known.

I was born for this.

But many others are born for it too.  And yet they leave.

Could I, could you, stop this from happening by taking the time to notice that pastor on the edge?

The one who is calm on the outside yet dying inside.

The one who says all the right things yet has lost the battle for joy.

All it would take is an ear.  A friendly smile.  An invitation to talk.  Perhaps for you to roll up your sleeves to show your own battle scars.

Then that pastor might not feel so beleaguered.  So alone.

Isn’t that worth making time for?


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