Struggling

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor Kyle, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Pastor Kyle

    Pastor Kyle
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    You know it is weird for me. As a pastor, I am the one that everyone looks to for guidence and leadership within the church, and here I am looking for the same thing.
    I have been the pastor of a great church for the past 2 years, and things have been great. We don't have any really big problems that other pastors have to face, I have a congregation that supports me and my family in the ministry, but yet I still feel like I am not making much of a difference.
    We are a church that averages around 40-50 people. We are located in a small, rural town in South Central Kentucky, in a community that I believe is over ran by religeon, therefore that makes it that much more difficult to reach the lost. The church that I pastor is a great church, but it is so hard to get them motivated to do any outreach. And it is because of that I believe that I am not haveing a good impact upon them. It seems like nothing I do really works to get them excited about outreach.
    I am currently looking for a youth pastor. We have interviewed an individual that I believe shares my vision for the church, but for the past 2 months he will not give us a direct answer of whether or not he is going to take the position. It seems like as soon as we take a step forward, we get pushed back 2-3 steps.
    I guess I am just using this forum to vent a little bit. I guess all I am looking for is prayer and encouragment in the ministry, because let me tell you, it seems like the Pastor is out there all by himself sometimes.
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
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    When things seem like nothing is being accomplished are times when I think about the apostle Paul and those long days of walking between high points and wondering if he didn't have times when he wondered if things were ever going to come together to accomplish anything for the Lord.

    I think this is the case in most peoples lives. We look at the Word and see all that Paul did but we don't think of the long days walking, long days at study or the long days sewing those blasted tents :thumbs:

    It is the Lord that will build His church so if you are following him He is building it at just the right pace :smilewinkgrin:

    As to the youth pastor is he waiting to hear from a bigger church ??? I've run into a lot of fellows that candidate at several and pick the best pay package offered. Not an accusation, just a possible.
     
  3. StefanM

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    Not to mention the following:

    Let's be honest. Does a church of that size really need a youth minister?
     
  4. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Been there, done that.. .felt that way!

    Sometimes I would LOVE to throw in the towel... but like Peter said to Jesus (I think) who would we turn to?

    My advice is to find a group of pastors that meet monthly... this is my support when I need to vent.
    Our association's pastors meet the first monday of the month for prayer, advice and lunch....

    find a group like that. It really helps!
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    After two months of indecision, maybe you should look elsewhere for a youth minister.
     
  6. ReformedBaptist

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    Hey brother,

    I pray that you will be encouraged..

    "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." Hebrews 6:10

    May the Lord bless you and fill you with His grace and peace. I pray that in your prayer times the Lord will illuminate you in the Scriptures and comfort you in His presense.

    Paul was forsaken when he was persecuted. "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." 2 Tim 4:17

    Maybe the following words from Tozer will be of some comfort as well.

     
  7. sag38

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    Kyle, you are where every pastor has been, is now, or will be and that multiple times in the pastorate. In my ministry it seems that we gain momentum, start moving forward, only to hit a wall. Or as I call it, a gorilla. And, tha gorilla knocks us back and it seems like we are starting all over again. But, I've learned to pick myself up, dust off, and go again. One day, in God's timing, I'm going to see that gorilla knocked on his butt instead of him knocking me on mine. Grape Ape is not going to win!!
     
  8. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I like your analogy..

    For those of us raised on video games, it is like Mario fighting Bowser....

    We may have to get knocked down a couple levels, but with persistance, we will win.
     
  9. Major B

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    Since I live in another small town in Kentucky, I think I can help you understand.

    1. Most folks in your town think they are saved already--they have to "get lost" before they can be saved.

    2. Most of your members think that most of the people in their town are saved, whatever their lifestyle.

    3. Your members have mostly been in that town for generations--you have been there two years. Pull out some archives of business meetings from the distant past, and tell me if you don't see the same last names on the archive and on last month's minutes. They were there when you came, and they will be there when you leave.

    4. If they like you and don't have any major problems, then love them, take it slow with them, and enjoy the pastorate for however long God leaves you there, including a lifetime.

    5. Unless he is very good, a young inexperienced youth leader will be far inferior to an older, volunteer dad or grandad. If you think that having a young youth leader will draw more people to your church, the answer is, it might--temporarily.

    6. You need to read "The Seven Churches NOT In The Book Of Revelation," by Gene Mimms--six bucks plus mail at CBD. Your church is in there.

    If you want a "purpose driven" and larger church, that ain't happnin' in Russell Springs anyway.

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt--three times!
     
  10. dh1948

    dh1948
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    Been There

    Kyle, I am assuming that you are a young pastor. You are learning a valuable lesson. The pastorate can be the most discouaging task in the world...or, it can be the most rewarding. It can change so quickly, too. I have been a pastor for over 38 years. I am not all-wise in the ups and down of the pastorate, but I have had some experience that qualifies me to speak with some authority.

    Most of the time our periods of discouragement are caused by the lack of our people's response to our ministry. I wouldn't let that get me down too much. It is usually short-lived. Churches go through stages. When you first arrive on the field you are their golden boy. After a while you begin to tarnish. People begin to see your flaws. The spiritual people will accept you, warts and all. The others will wish for another golden boy. I would say if the people remain unresponsive to your leadership for a protracted period of time, it may be that you need to take a look at your leadership style or consider leaving. You definitely can't lead if the vast majority of your people will not follow, especially your key people.

    I am in my thirteenth year at my current pastorate. The ups and downs come in cycles. It is not easy, maybe impossible, to consistently remain on the mountaintop. Besides, between any two mountains there has to be a valley. Though I am not a fan of the departed Jack Hyles, I do agree with what I heard him say one time. He gist of what he said was, "You determine the greatness of a man by the depths of his valleys." His premise was that as you experience valleys in your ministry that each one should become progressively more shallow. When you have been pastoring for 30 years, the valleys you experience don't seem quite as deep as those you experienced when you were a young pastor. They may actually be as deep, but your response to them really is the determining factor.

    May I address your concern about the number of churches in your town? I was reading last week that surveys reveal that 40% of Americans are in church on any given Sunday morning. If that is so, I doubt that it is, then 60% of the residents of your town are not in church on Sunday morning. That gives you a pretty good prospect file, wouldn't you say?

    Keep your chin up and your spiritual ear close to the ground. Listen to what God is saying to your through your discouragement. I wish you well, my brother.
     
  11. rdwhite

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    In the middle of the same thing, I appreciate Brother Kyle's courage to post this and I appreciate the responses.
     
  12. Jimmy Clifton

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    Hello,

    Motivation is internal, not external. This is crucial in ministry and in all walks of life. Pray for the power of Holy Spirit to internally motivate those called to engage in outreach.

    Second, and most important: A number of years ago a married young lady contacted me. I was her pastor when she was 15. She emailed me and told me that I am her favorite pastor and that choices and decisions she has made since she was a teenager have been good and postive and she attributed it all to me.

    Whether one chooses to be impacted by us or not is something we may never find out or may find out years later. I suspect that a number in your congregation have chosen to be impacted by your wonderful work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  13. bobbyd

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    Kyle, you are not alone in this one. I'm in my first fulltime pastorate and experiencing a lot of the same feelings myself. It is a small town where everyone knows everyone's business and most people have been baptized into one church or another at some point in their lives...yet less than 50% of the town is in church on any given Sunday. As much as as we try to remind people of that it does seem to fall on deaf ears at times.
    I'm just starting my 3rd year of ministry here and the honey moon is over and things have been quite rocky at times over the last few months; but i do know that i need to stick with it if God is going to do something here because short timing it isn't good for me or the church.

    Keep the faith and know that you have a great support group here, and if you need to email me please do i would love to chat.
     
  14. Whowillgo

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    Kyle, hang in there my dear brother. I have been preaching for 25 years, pastoring for 13 and comfortable in my mission for 5. I am also in a small town, 5000 people, 75% Catholic. I honestly felt the situation was completely hopeless 5 years ago and then I started praying for opportunity and then the church started praying for opportunity, we gave up on numbers and asked God to send one lost soul at a time. After the 43rd lost person was saved this year we now have (6) people excited about outreach. By the way our congregation is 65 in number counting the 43. What I'm trying to say is that if you are faithful God will reveal the simplicity of His expectations of you, get comfortable in one soul at a time.
     
  15. Goldie

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    Pastor Kyle,
    How's your church's soul-winning efforts going? And by that I don't mean people coming to your church or joining up - I mean you and your deacons and member pastors going out and preaching the gospel to the local folk. To my mind, (and I'm not saying this is the problem in your case) a church always starts stagnating when they don't go out beyond their four walls and preach the gospel because they expect people to come to them, which isn't the write way to do it (win souls for Christ).
    Regards,
    Goldie :love2:
     
  16. Jon-Marc

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    Pastor Kyle, I've always wondered who a pastor goes to for guidance. I know the pat answer is "God", but we all need a physical being to talk to about our problems. I had a pastor with whom I was very close who talked to me.
     
  17. Pastor Kyle

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    Our soul winning efforts are just myself. I go out during the week, usually 2-3 times a week, and pass out literature on our church. I don't knock on doors unless I am with another person, our church had a problem with that in years past....false accusation brought and all.....I am pushing evangelism, and on occasion I can get some folks to come out.....it seems they are to busy with their lives to care about church or evangelism......to all others who have posted, thank you very much....several of you told me that these things come in waves.....I realize that now.....the last several weeks have been better....the youth pastor that I referred to in my original post decided not to come, but I have decided that was probably for the best.....I had the opportunity to talk to another local pastor recently and found out that he goes through the exact same things....in fact he was out working and he said that God laid it on his heart to come in and visit with me....God is Good.....I also had the chance to talk to my uncle who is a pastor in Ohio and he told me that when he began pastoring at his church he was the only one who would go out on visitation....I asked him if that was hard and he said sure, but God called him to that church and it was his job to work it until the Lord called him out....that was over 20 years ago and the Lord has blessed his ministry greatly.....so thank you for the responses and posts.....I am praying and working and preaching until either the Lord calls me out of this church or calls me home....God Bless......Ephesians 4:1
     
  18. Bama Fan1

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    Kyle,
    First of all I am a fellow Pastor and have been in the ministry for almost 11 years now. To say that it has always been easy would be a complete lie, but God is always faithful to his children who love him and really seek him.
    Let me share this with you and hope that it will encourage you some. The church where I am currently serving as Pastor is in a small rural area in Alabama. When the church called me I was in a successful pastorate at another church not far from this church and had been there for 8 years. I struggled with the idea of leaving because this church that was calling was much smaller and had been plagued with many problems for several years. The more that I prayed the more God showed me that I needed to take the church.
    The church was running about 20 for worship on Sunday morning they had almost none for evening service and Wednesday Night was just a hand full. We begin to pray and preach the real truth from the Word of God, to make a long story short we have been there exactly a year and we have had 26 people give their life to Jesus, we are running somewhere around 100 every Sunday morning and we continue to grow.
    This is what I would encourage you to do, Keep your eyes on Jesus and pray many times daily, and don't ever forget his abilities. Sometimes we forget that we are serving the same God that spoke this world into existence and hung the stars in place. If God can do all of that most certainly God can bless a small town pastor somewhere in Kentucky who is just trying to be faithful. There is no reason why God can not do great things right where you are at and I pray that he will.
    Finally, as far as a youth pastor they are hard to find. But, I would encourage you to get one even if you don't have that many youth. Always remember this if you are praying for rain and you leave your house and the sun is shining, you better carry an umbrella.
    God Bless You
     
    #18 Bama Fan1, Aug 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2008

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