Mark Clifton, Sr. Director of Replant of the North American Mission Board, stopped by the bootcamp and dropped some great knowledge and advice about how to deal with discouragement and depression as a Replanter.
How can a Replanter stay encouraged and healthy?
- Unfortunately many don’t.
- Pastors operate wounded and then wound others-spending $20 on a 10 cent problem.
- Satan’s number 1 tool against a Pastor is depression/discouragement.
- The weight of ministry creates a cycle of discouragement and depression that often creates a victim mentality and a context in which operating with emotional intelligence is difficult.
If you find your purpose, joy and meaning in how well your church is doing–you’ll be feeding off the congregation and not feeding them. And you’ll always be searching for Joy.
Find your joy in Jesus alone.
Talk to yourself, instead of listening to yourself.
Should a Pastor admit struggles and weaknesses?
- You need to be vulnerable as a Pastor, but you also need to be cautious about how and with whom you are vulnerable.
- Find a group of Leaders (Other Pastors, Director of Missions, Associational Missional Strategist, Elders) who you are living in community with and be vulnerable with them.
- Be wise about your struggles with the congregation during your preaching.
- We must remember that we have the Gospel-our trust is not in ourselves but in Jesus.
- Use your weaknesses and inadequacies to point to the cross instead of using them to garner sympathy.
What are some other sources of encouragement for a discouraged Pastor/Replanter?
- Read the Scriptures
- Read the Puritans
- Listen to good sermons (Spurgeon, Martin Lloyd Jones)
- The Valley of Vision
- Read good biographies
- Watch historical documentaries
- Find a Hobby
- Enjoy your family
- Two rules for parenting: love Jesus and have fun
- Don’t unload your church frustrations on your spouse/family.
Relax and remember that the church is the Lord’s, he is the one who will grow it and care for it.
Fight for your joy, the gospel and your church.
Are there some signs that it’s time to consider transitioning away from your church?
- If the work is destroying your family, faith and your Christian walk-you may need to consider stepping down.
To be honest, some men should not be Pastors, and they need to come to terms with that. They could be called to be a good church leader, a great church member.
Every Pastor must have a clear call from God-or he shouldn’t be pastoring.
Often, in the midst of discouragement a Pastor is prone to choose isolation over community.
Find a good Christian counselor-for yourself and for your congregation.
If you are a Pastor experiencing serious discouragement please reach out to someone for help today.
Revitalize by Andy Davis
Sermons by Martin Lloyd Jones
Medication and Depression by Bob Bickford
Pastor Hotline: 1-844-PASTOR1 (1-844-727-8671)