You’re not imagining it. Preaching, right now, is hard.
It’s been especially hard for a few years now, especially if you’re going to challenge people to follow the Way of Jesus instead of the way of the consumeristic culture, or the way of empire, or the way of self-preservation.
There’s a decent chance you’ve already seen Alexander Lang’s article on why he left ministry and the church. He points back to the Barna Group’s findings from a year ago in which they concluded that stress, isolation, and political division were fueling a larger-than-normal exodus of pastors from professional ministry.
One paragraph, in particular, stood out to me in Alexander’s post:
I eventually came to the conclusion that my particular skillset and perspective is a mismatch for the institutional church. What I offer is not what most Christians are looking for, which is another reason I’ve decided to move on. I realized that if I spend the rest of my life fighting a system that is not designed for someone like me, I’m going to end up an angry, bitter, broken shell of a human being.
Let me say, from personal experience, that if you’re moving in the direction of becoming an “angry, bitter, broken shell of a human being,” talk to someone. You might need to take a break. You might need to spend a lot of time in prayer laying out your concerns and listening for the Spirit’s leadership concerning your calling and direction.
You, your soul, your emotional, mental, and spiritual health, and your family’s welfare all matter too much to suffer alone. If you don’t have one, get a coach or spiritual director. If need be, talk to a licensed, clinical therapist, which is one of the healthiest decisions anyone can make. And definitely lean into your inner community of the Holy Spirit and the voices of wisdom you’ve trusted in your life thus far.
And if you’re healthy, strong, and ready to preach, then I have a challenge for you this week about preaching with prophetic clarity…
AND, I’ll keep throwing this out there every week until the event… the Church Mental Health Summit. It’s coming up on October 10. It’s all online and it’s free to attend.
And keep on growing!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
A sermon idea based on Romans 14:1-12.
There is great personal freedom when we stop playing God. Mature spirituality is realizing we don’t have to exclude, control, or judge people. Instead, we can begin to include people while respecting their freedom, too.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
This series follows Jesus to the different meals he shared with people throughout his earthly ministry. He ate with sinners and saints, teaching, loving, and extending grace from table to table.
Links for Leaders
ARTICLE: I love what Josh Reich has to say this week about How to Handle Tension at Church, and of all the pieces of wisdom he shares, my favorite for pastors is this:
Walk through your church and hold your head high. They are not your enemies but the people you are called to lead and shepherd. You must stay true to what God has called you to, even if everyone doesn’t understand or go with you.
BOOK REVIEW: Scot McKnight speaks a big word of truth to those of us ministering in the current political atmosphere about Fear-Based Politics as he offers a brief review of a portion of Andrew Whitehead’s new book, American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church in which Andrew says, “equality feels like discrimination when you are used to privilege.” And I’m convinced that the greatest challenge facing modern American evangelicals is reckoning with our own privilege in an honest and repentant way.
ARTICLE: Scott Cochrane has one of the best leadership blogs out there. This week, he issues a warning we all need to hear about 3 Commonplace Lies That Will Always Shipwreck Your Leadership, starting with, “I got away with it last time. I can get away with it this time.” And it gets better from there.
NEWS: This year has been significant in terms of natural disasters. Morocco’s earthquake has now claimed more than 2,800 lives and the flooding in Lybia has claimed more than 8,000 lives with more than 10,000 people still missing. And even here in America, we’ve now set a new record for the number of billion-dollar disasters in a single year. We must pray for those who mourn, help where we can, and take notice of the ways in which our climate is changing and become better stewards of creation.
BOOK: My friend Seth Haines’ book The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love that Reorders a Life is currently on sale in Kindle format for $2.99. It’s an excellent read!
OFFER: For just a day or so, The Genius Blogging Toolkit is available! It’s over $6k worth of courses, ebooks, templates, and more – everything you could possibly want to know about blogging – for just $97 (or the ultimate package is $147). It’s a steal!
The Latest from Walk Humble
Walk Humble is where I host an ongoing conversation about life, faith, and relationships among people brave enough to admit they don’t have life all figured out yet. Here’s the latest if you’re interested…
- May We Never Forget That We Are Never Invincible
- Podcast Episode #005: Experiencing Continual Spiritual Awakening
- You Choose What You Focus On
Miss an Issue? Read The Reflectionary Archives!
Is It Time for a Website Redesign?
When I start a website redesign project – for a church, a nonprofit, leader/pastor/speaker, etc. – I get obsessed with the details. I want it to shine! And more importantly, I want it to show up in search results.
If your website feels “clunky” or disorganized, hard to navigate, hard to find using Google, or just outdated in its style, let’s talk!! This is what I do!
Visit my creative services page and use the form to let me know about your current site, what you’d like to improve, and the budget you want to work within and we’ll have a conversation!
This newsletter is powered by ConvertKit, which I highly recommend for launching your own online newsletter, email list, platform, etc.
Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash.