The Heartbeat

As you prepare yourself to begin pastoring, I want to warn you about some frustrations you will likely face in the ministry. This is not to discourage you, but to help prepare you. Here are a few…

1. A lack of volunteers. Back in about 1983 – several years before I became a pastor – I attended a seminar in Hershey, PA on recruiting volunteers for church work. The main speaker made the point that "as hard as it is to find volunteers, it is only going to become harder." And that was roughly 40 years ago! Long gone are the days when people would volunteer to teach Children's Church and then do so for 20 years without a break. Throughout our modern world, this issue of finding people who will volunteer, long-term, and keep their commitment, has become a major challenge. And to quote the fellow from 1983: "It is only going to become harder."

2. A lack of funds. This may or may not be a problem. Through the years I have seen this issue ebb and flow, be it at church or while I served on various boards outside of church. I recall one organization whose board I served on and for the first 2 or 3 years, every board meeting was consumed with talking about the financial crisis the organization was in. And then, quite suddenly, that problem went away and for the next number of years the board was able to give its attention to the work of the organization. Hopefully this will not be a problem that plagues you. Hopefully our global economy will be fine, our local economy will be fine and Burning Hearts economy will be fine as well. It is hard to find any clear reason for the ebb and flow, but that is definitely what happens.

3. A lack of respect. WARNING…WARNING…WARNING: Your role as a pastor will not endear you to the general public the way it might have 50 years ago. Indeed, to many, the mere mentioning that you are a "pastor" will send up red flags in their minds: Are you a predator? Are you out for their money? Are you another charlatan? What's your real motive?

Oh, aren't we SO THANKFUL to those televangelists of the 80s, and to those many Roman Catholic priests, and to the prosperity gospel crooks with their private planes and air-conditioned dog houses? They did a wonderful job of making life all that more challenging for the average pastor of your average evangelical church. Yes, thanks a lot.

And, I should warn you, this lack of respect has made its way down into the congregations that we serve. Maybe this is good. It certainly will help to keep you humble! But little will it matter to many that you have served as a missionary and teacher for years; little will it matter to many that you have gone to seminary; little will it matter to many that you have discipled many. Pastors, like politicians, are "in season" the whole year long and can be shot at on just a whim.

4. A lack of response to the gospel message. Billy Graham, certainly as much of an expert on this issue as any man of the past 100 years, attributed this to the issue of "inoculations." He said words to the effect that most Americans have received just enough of the gospel message to have become inoculated from really receiving the gospel with all of its life-changing force. We pray for a great outpouring of God's Holy Spirit in our day, and once in awhile we see it, here or there. But to see another Great Awakening…well, we will continue to pray.

By His Grace,
Doug Winne

Upcoming Events

Bravehearts Breakfast & Annual Trap Shoot
08 Oct 2022 - 07:00AM
Adult Sunday School
09 Oct 2022 - 09:00AM
Worship Service
09 Oct 2022 - 10:30AM
Prayer Meeting
12 Oct 2022 - 07:00PM
Adult Sunday School
16 Oct 2022 - 09:00AM