The Problem of Lonely Pastors


A link was posted on the CRC Pastors Facebook group. It’s a closed group so we don’t share outside of it but since I write what I’m about to share and it doesn’t involve the stuff of others, only my own, I’ll share it here.

Our brokenness is always lived with and engaged in community. This is why the church is so indispensable to Christianity. The pastor, for better or worse has a unique place in every church, but every church is unique as well so the issue will always be there. The CHURCH is also not only the local congregation.

Our cultural posture is to address a need with a program. That’s not all bad, but it means we’ll have a lot of different programs. Our implicit cultural scientism and modernism biases us to imagine there is an ideal program that will dispense a “solution”. I’m doubtful. There isn’t A solution to any other pastor challenge I face, why would there be A solution for my own?

On this Saturday morning I feel the pain of the varied plants in my own garden of brokenness. There are no “solutions” to many of these like the field of wheat and tares. I thank God for the various friends, clergy and not, in my church and not, who help me bear these loads. They know who they are. They help me with their prayers, their kindness, their friendship, their love, their advice, their listening ears, their commitment to my welfare at their own expense. I know even that more are available to me if I need them. I know that even in a group like this there are many godly men and women that if I had a need they could address they would rise to my aid. What a rich gift the church of Jesus Christ is for us!

It is not, however, like an antibiotic that brings relief in just a few dosages. It is more like hospice that anticipates a final healing through death into resurrection.

One of the tidbits of wisdom Chaplain Cooper would always say in his sermons at the old Knollcrest worship service was “pain shared is pain divided” and I have never forgotten that. Sometimes sharing the pain is the best we can do. Our Lord did his greatest work through us by sharing our pain and taking upon himself our punishment.

We should be Christian in our self-care and care for each other as leaders. We bear our sin and the sins of others awaiting the final stroke of grace that banishes both but in the meantime we do suffer and even that suffering can be recycled into glory.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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