The following simply spoke to me and was compelled to retype it. The life of a pastor is tough and, if it wasn’t for God’s calling, I probably would have peace’d out a long time ago.
I guess this is my way of thanking everyone who’ve supported my family and me all these years. Your prayers and presence mean so much more than you know.
“As a pastor, not a week goes by where I don’t mourn the absence of people who were once present in the life of my congregation. That continual mourning of people who left the church I serve is something I never really know how to process, except with a slow and steady heart-ache.
I know pastors aren’t supposed to talk about these things, but that seems ridiculous to me. In ministry, you open your heart to people, to be perpetually rejected. That’s part of the calling. I don’t think I really understood how that would impact me in the long haul.
I’m certainly not facing a cross or even any real form of persecution. However, there are Sundays when I look out upon the congregation and see that once again, that couple or that person is no longer there and my heart breaks knowing they are gone and I was not enough.
I understand that ministry is not just about me. But I make it a point to open my heart to every person that comes into our congregations. I try to accept their lives and their journeys. When they leave, a part of my heart goes with them.
I guess I’m writing this because I want to and because I need people to know that many, many pastors have not chosen their calling for some need for power or influence. They are simply trying to be faithful to God. The cost of that effort can be consistent relational pain.
And yes, there is joy and goodness and beauty in the ministry. And yes, I am thankful for my calling. However, I need to share the sorrows as well. Thanks for listening. I appreciate each of you and respect your journey.”
– Doug Bursch
Thanks, Doug, for your honesty!!’