The times we are living in are truly amazing. The other day, I was walking down the street at one of my favorite shopping areas to see two-thirds of the stores closed down. It’s sad to see things slowly start to fade away. We are truly living in some devastating times. When these stores close down we don’t blame the business. We just say, “It’s just tough times.”
Then, I think about my precious pastor friends. More pastors are leaving the ministry than ever before. The times we are living in have raised the stress level and anxiety of so many of our leaders. Churches are closing down; property levels have dropped in value. Many GREAT churches are fighting for their survival. The other day, my father Tommy Barnett made a great point. He said, “When our offerings are affected by the economy I tell fellow pastor friends that mine are down too.” His reason was quite simple; he wanted them to know that he is in the struggle as well.
MANY TIMES PEOPLE RELATE TO OUR FRAILTIES IN LEADERSHIP MORE THAN OUR VICTORIES.
If you are a pastor and your finances are going through the roof during this season, I praise God with you. You are the exception to the rule and we celebrate your success. However, I believe it’s great therapy for pastors to simply let their pride down and say, “Just like you we are in the struggle.” There’s something wonderful knowing that someone is with you in the fight. Pastors, do not take your struggle personally and do not let it take away your gift to the church. Hang in there! You are a champion! You are going to make it!
As leaders, we always try to project our strength. We like to tell stories of miracles and great triumphs. There are times though when we just need to be honest and say that we too are trying to make it through the week. Do not take hard times as failure, and do not be afraid to be vulnerable with other pastor friends and encourage them that they are not alone. We are all going to get to the other side of this.
WE WILL ALL STAND ON THE MOUNTAINTOP STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE!