Managing Stress Monday: Loneliness is a Ministry Killer

There is little doubt that loneliness is one of the biggest problems facing pastors today. Every survey reports that most pastors experience this emotion, often on a regular basis. This may sound strange to many people. After all, aren’t we pastors surrounded by people for large portions of our ministry? We lead groups, we preach, we meet with staff and volunteers. How could we possibly be lonely?

The answer is simple: When we experience loneliness, what we are really missing is a connection. We are missing fulfillment of the universal human need to have close relationships with other people. God created us for community. In the Garden of Eden, God looked at Adam and said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). This is still very true today.

But ministry can be a very lonely calling for us. People come to us with challenging issues that are also deeply personal. They naturally expect a high level of privacy, and we give it to them. Our job is so specialized and different from other occupations that there aren’t many people who even understand what we eat with on a daily and weekly basis. I (Richard) once had a church member who seriously thought I worked only one hour per week — Sunday morning! He was shocked when I corrected his perception of my job.

Not only do we have a job that some people find it hard to relate to, we also suffer because we are so busy. It takes time to develop relationships, and time is something we don’t have a lot of. Many of us come to the conclusion that making close friendships just isn’t worth the effort. As a result, we suffer the consequences of loneliness.

– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman

The above excerpt is from p. 110-111 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Managing the Stress of Ministry.

Pastors Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman share their secrets to effective stress management with practical steps and insights that you can start implementing immediately! God wants you to be a fruitful, faithful minister of the gospel. He wants you, as a Renegade Pastor, to rise above average as you pursue God’s best for you, your family, and your ministry.

P.S. – Click here to grab your copy from Amazon today!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyHealth, Leadership, Ministry