How to Avoid Pastoral Burnout

Ask Anna

When you’re zealous for God and eager to please Him in this great calling that He has placed on your life, that’s a wonderful thing. God delights in souls who sincerely care about pleasing Him. But while you’re learning how to juggle the many aspects of shepherding God’s flock, there’s one very important principle which you need to keep a hold of: you matter, too. It’s not just about the little lambs under your care. God didn’t call you into this role just to perpetually give and never receive.

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Delivering Tough Sermons: Help for Stressing Preachers

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If you say certain things from the pulpit, it’s pretty much guaranteed that people are going to get huffy. When people get huffy, they get hostile, and sometimes that hostility is expressed in rather aggressive forms which you then become the unhappy target of. It is a fear of getting sniped at that causes good preachers to pretend to forget where their loyalties ought to lie in the critical moment. Instead of saying what God is commanding them to say, they do a major revision to His message and end up putting out a lot of useless, ego pleasing guff. When it’s over, no one knows the hack job they did on God’s message. No one’s angry, either, and the preachers think they’ve made a smart move by dodging a bullet. Well, the humans might be smiling, but the Creator of all things is more than a little irked. Can we really call it a victory when a man has just moved himself onto the wrong side of God’s patience? Continue reading

Thematic Sermons: Cautions for Preachers

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Speaking God’s messages to the flock is a very serious responsibility. We shepherds need to remember that our function is merely to relay God’s messages. We don’t create them. We don’t decide for the Creator what He is in the mood to say. We don’t put words in His mouth. We don’t have the audacity to tell Him that He isn’t being politically correct. Of course some of us are doing all of these things on a regular basis because we’ve completely lost our grip on reverence. If that’s where you’re at today, you have two options: repent and get back into alignment with God or keep on as you are and get slammed with some well-deserved discipline. Continue reading

Guidance for Preachers: Understanding the Call

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What does it mean to speak for God? This is a concept that is very poorly understood in the Church today. By the time we’re done worrying about being relevant, speaking the truth in love, and walking our talk, we are totally out of touch with the Holy Spirit. If you’re going to honor God as His spokesperson, you need to flush all of this useless advice the Church puts out about how to please people and get your focus back on what really matters: pleasing God. Continue reading

Praying for Your Flock in a Way that Honors God (Guidance for Pastors & Priests)

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You’re one of God’s shepherds and you pray for the sheep He has put under your care.

But why? What exactly is it that you’re hoping to accomplish by praying for your parishioners?

Certainly you’ve been taught to believe this is oh so important to do. But if you’re going to keep progressing in your own walk with God, it’s time to stop and think critically about what role prayer should have in your life.

Let’s sit you down at a table with God. He asks, “Why do you keep praying to Me about the souls I’ve brought into your congregation?”

What is your answer going to be? “Because I think You _________.”

How do you complete this sentence in a way that doesn’t insult God? You can’t. The real reason you pray to God about your parishioners is because you think He needs your guidance. And the reason you think He needs your guidance is because you don’t believe He’s doing the best He could do with all of His God powers. If you did, why would you advise Him? Why would you try to stick your oar into the water and give Him some helpful instruction? Continue reading

Preparing a Sermon that Honors God (Guidance for Pastors)

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If you’re the real deal and not just a poser, then you have been called by God to preach. To receive such a calling means you have been authorized by God to be His Voice to the flock—could there be a higher honor? Yours is a sacred calling, and it must be treated as such. This means there is no room for compromise when it comes to preparing your Sunday sermon, your midweek Bible lesson, or anything else. When you speak as God’s shepherd, your words must be His words, no one else’s. And if you are truly called, this is not hard, for you will hear the Holy Spirit whispering His words to your soul. Continue reading