Who said being a pastor was an easy job? Those complaining about the drawbacks of their corporate careers should take a look at the challenges faced by church staff. At the first sight, a pastor’s responsibilities don’t seem very tough: “inviting other people to know and love Jesus Christ”, “inspiring the community to love God and love others”, or “mentoring people and pushing them towards greatness”. Seems like a low stress role, right?
The 7 Most Common Challenges That Pastors Face
If you were thinking about a pastor job as a perpetual holiday, you’ll be disappointed. Those who work for a church will easily recognize the following tensions and challenges:
1. Low attendance levels
Many pastors who have been in the job for more than a decade complain about their church’s low attendance levels and say they have never seen their church members so apathetic and focused just on personal issues. A church lives through its congregation’s commitment, and it’s not uncommon for churches to close down because their pews are emptier each Sunday.
2. Controversial issues on the public agenda
As today’s society is becoming more tolerant towards hot topics such as homosexuality and gay marriage, pastors need to find a way to express their public opinion without discriminating minorities and while still maintaining their churches’ beliefs.
3. Time constraints
Many full-time pastors complain about not being able to spend enough quality time with their families. Furthermore, in spite of their dedication, they end each week feeling they got so little done for their congregation. Unfortunately, much of the time is wasted discussing minor aspects or solving conflicts.
4. Reaching consensus
Church members make gifts and pay a tithe each month, and they expect power of decision in exchange. Church pastors need to reconcile opposite sides and are often caught between inter-generational conflicts – young people have revolutionary ideas and older generations often disagree.
5. Being a good steward while still pleasing church members
You may feel tempted to say “yes” to each demand that churchgoers make, but when you try to please everyone you end up not doing anything well.
6. Finding a balance between positive and negative
Some pastors seem to think that everything is wrong with today’s world and culture, while others may fail to address sin because they are too focused on encouraging church members and making the church an attractive place. As a pastor, you need to find a position in between, and make sure you do your duty to God and make your church a popular place at the same time.
Fewer church attendants mean less money. Lack of funds leads to poorer stewardship and lower pastor income. Church staff is paid from tithes, and when monetary gifts are smaller each month, both the church and its employees start to face financial problems.
Today’s online and mobile-friendly fundraising methods are not a solution for each problem faced by church leaders, but they make a significant difference when it comes to finances and church member engagement. The aversion that churches used to have towards technology is now a thing of the past, and online giving is a priority aspect in most thriving congregations.
Do you need help implementing new technologies?