Statistics are scary. So often, the numbers are numbing and I don’t really connect with them, but when I came across this number, it was staggering.
1500 pastors leave the ministry permanently each month. The dominant cause? Burnout. But number 2 on the list struck a nerve – Moral Failure. Burnout’s nasty, and I hope to discuss that issue at another time, but the fact that moral failure is the number 2 reason that pastors are leaving the ministry is scary.
That means that 1500 families are going through hell-on-earth. That means that 1500 men and women that have expressed a calling from God are no longer serving the Church because they acted in opposition to God’s commands and instructions. That means that 1500 churches are beginning the painful steps of finding healing and help.
So the question must to be asked, “How can we prevent becoming one of the 1500?”
Find your fulfillment in Christ first – No one has ever opted to leave their husband or wife in order to be faithful to God. By seeking Christ first, and finding fulfillment through that relationship, we open ourselves up to serve our spouse faithfully, rather than demanding that they meet our needs.
No one should be closer than your spouse – There’s a great blessing when we have strong relationships with those that we serve alongside in the church. But that blessing can become a curse all to0 quickly when those relationships trump the covenant you made before God on your wedding day. No one other than Christ should be a closer companion than your spouse.
Find accountability – Pastors – especially RookiePastors – tend to believe that they don’t need accountability either because they’re more Godly, or more devout, or more in love with their spouse, or stronger than those who have fallen. They’re not. They’re just more naive and trusting. We must find accountability. Without someone who loves us enough to get in our face when we’re in the wrong, we’re just blinded by our own position and open to any and all attacks.
Find help – Maybe it’s too late when you read this. You’re already involved in a failure and are struggling with what to do. Find help. XXXChurch has some excellent resources to help you navigate these waters. Your God, your family, and your church deserve nothing short of your absolute commitment to step up to the plate and deal with this issue. You can’t run from it.