The good pastors are under siege

The good pastors are under siege by Kelly Williams for Christian Today

The good pastors of the world are under siege!

I have been a senior pastor of the same Southern Baptist Church, Vanguard Church, in Colorado Springs for the past twenty-six years. My wife, Tosha, and I, started the church twenty-six years ago as North American Mission Board church planters for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Recently I hosted a city-wide pastor gathering in our city and prayed with forty other pastors for Israel, our nation, our city, and the mental and physical health of our pastors and their spouses.

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As I stood in that room and led other pastors, I could feel the weight of sorrow, suffering, and pain that each of them carries. Afterwards, I heard stories of pressure, disappointment, betrayal, and the never-ending battle of leading God’s people to live simply by God’s Word.

In my almost three decades of pastoring, these last five years, during and after Covid, have been the most difficult. New Barna data shows that pastors’ confidence and satisfaction in their vocation has decreased significantly in the past few years, and two in five (41%) say they’ve considered quitting ministry in the last 12 months. Here are the top five reasons:

1. The immense stress of the job: 56%
2. I feel lonely and isolated: 43%
3. Current political divisions: 38%
4. I am unhappy with the effect this role has had on my family: 29%
5. I am not optimistic about the future of my church: 29%

Lifeway Research said that since July 2020, the greatest challenge for pastors was keeping their congregations unified and committed to unity.

As these factors bear down on pastors, there is another very critical matter brewing among good pastors: opposition toward a conservative view of Scripture, the biblical moral behavioral code, along with the absolute exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life with the Father.

The most notable person in this shift is Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Pastor Andy is one of the most influential evangelical pastors of our day. North Point Community Church averages almost 40,000 people a weekend across eight locations. Pastor Andy is the son of the late Pastor Charles Stanley. For the past ten plus years Pastor Andy has been on a journey to shift his view of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and specifically his view on homosexuality. He has very methodically walked a tight rope between conservative theology and his drifting view of it.

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