Uniting the People of God in This Area
Bessemer Baptist Association
Monday, September 21, 2020
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A Word From Dr. Cosper

Six Reasons Why Your Pastor is About to Quit

By Dr. Barry F. Cosper

 
In this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we face extreme challenges that require churches to reexamine itself concerning what God is going to do in this challenging time. The question we have to address is WHAT CAN WE DO AS A PASTOR AND STAFF TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY AS WE MINISTER TO A LOT OF HURTING PEOPLE? I thank you in advance for the bold ministry that you are already doing. God has His hand upon your congregation. Thank you for sharing the heart of God, along with your compassion and love. 
 
I read an interesting article on August 31st that caught my attention. Dr. Thom Rainer wrote the article. The title of the article is “SIX REASONS WHY YOUR PASTOR IS ABOUT TO QUIT.” I share this article with you so you will know how to intercede for your pastor and staff. The article is alarming but also informative of our proper response as churches. May your church be a friend to its staff and pray for them every day. 
 
This period of the Covid-19 pandemic is described as one of “great discouragement.” Is this the only reason for this period of great discouragement? The answer is no. The pandemic has exacerbated trends that were already in place. The resignations could still have happened in the next three to five years. Many of the pastors do not see themselves as leaving the ministry but only as moving into a new ministry. The current state of many churches includes continual conflict, negativity, and apathy. As a whole, many churches need revitalization and revival. Let us now look at the six reasons. 
 
1. PASTORS ARE WEARY OF THE PANDEMIC, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Pastors are not superhumans. They have strong convictions about ministry. During this time of discouragement, pastors miss being among their people, and they miss seeing their people. They miss making new acquaintances as they minister to the community. They long for the “normal” to return. But the normal will not return. There will be a “new normal” instead. What is that “new normal?” We are attempting to connect with God’s very heart so we can follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit to understand how God is leading us to make a spiritual difference in the community. 
 
2. PASTORS ARE GREATLY DISCOURAGED ABOUT THE FIGHTING TAKING PLACE AMONG CHURCH MEMBERS ABOUT THE POST-QUARANTINE CHURCH. Should churches gather in person or wait? Should churches practice social distancing? I encourage our churches to practice wearing masks and social distancing. Be proactive and be a part of the solution instead of the cultural problem. The mindset of culture has made this a political conflict. Many of our churches regularly deal with complaints when the leadership makes decisions for the church. 
 
3. PASTORS ARE DISCOURAGED ABOUT LOSING MEMBERS AND ATTENDANCE. Let me emphasize it is not about numbers only. I would like you to consider this scenario. What if half of your friends stopped having anything to do with you? How would you feel? Would you feel isolated and lonely as well as despondent? Several statistical studies have revealed that possibly one-fourth of the members may not return. This is a sad scenario. 
 
4. PASTORS DO NOT KNOW IF THEIR CHURCHES WILL BE ABLE TO SUPPORT MINISTRIES FINANCIALLY IN THE FUTURE. In the early stages of the pandemic, churches were experiencing healthy giving. Church members remained faithful in their practice of giving. The government’s involvement of funds for businesses and consumers was a great assistance and blessing. Now we face a future of enormous challenges. What will be the church’s potential? What will the church do? 
 
5. CRITICISMS AGAINST PASTORS HAVE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. Some pastors are receiving far more complaints than they were before the pandemic. One pastor described his experience as five times more criticisms now than before the pandemic. Church members are worried and weary. Their most convenient target for their dissatisfaction is the pastor. 
 
6. THE WORKLOAD FOR PASTORS HAS INCREASED GREATLY. Statistics reveal that since the pandemic started, the workload of pastors has enormously increased. The pastors have tried to serve their churches as they did in the past. Once the pandemic started, the pastors had to become acquainted with the reality of the digital world as they desired that the church would continue to be ministered to in a highly effective way. Surveys also reveal that pastoral care among members has increased during the pandemic as well. 
 
Pastors are burned out, beaten up, and downtrodden. May your church be God’s love gift to your pastor and his family. Pray for them daily. Walk alongside him as he seeks to minister to the church family in a highly effective way.
I thank each church in advance for being God’s love gift to your pastor and family!

Dr. Barry F. Cosper 

Associational Mission Strategist
Bessemer Baptist Association