Many of us have considered quitting at one time or another. After all, serving in a ministry role can be very, very difficult. In fact, there may be times that are so grueling you may wonder what you got yourself into.
Why would a minister and his family consider leaving a “full-time” ministry role?
1. Relentless criticism from members of the congregation. Many people in ministry roles understand that criticism comes with this work. However, some criticism can be deeply hurtful and debilitating. A minister may experience great pain and frustration when some in a congregation criticize his children or his spouse. The same is true when criticism is aimed toward one’s personality or even his integrity.
2. Disappointment that one experiences in a congregation. Serving in a ministry role with a congregation often means that a person will become aware of some of the wonderful ways in which members quietly serve the Lord. However, this can also mean that one is now exposed to some very nasty attitudes. Perhaps this minister or elder even admired these people at one time. Now, however, this church leader is witnessing another side of this church member.
3. Financial stress. Sometimes congregations do not provide adequate financial support to their ministers. Consequently, some ministers and their families feel constant stress due to their financial situation. Ministers may feel like they can not share this burden with their elder group or friends within the church lest their motives be misconstrued. Consequently, these families bear this stress alone. Yes, I know that some ministry families put themselves into debt due to unwise financial decisions and undisciplined spending. However, some are simply trying to live on an income that is inadequate.
4. Loneliness and isolation. Some church leaders (ministers, elders, pastors, and many, many others) feel lonely and isolated. They find that their friends really don’t understand the work they do or the pressures they are under. Complicating this even more is the reality that some ministers often feel geographically isolated from their extended families due to their location.
What are some other reasons that might cause a church leader to consider leaving a particular ministry role?