“But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of some pastors, when I saw the success of those less gifted than me…. Their strength is firm; they are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride serves as their necklace…. Their eyes bulge with abundance; they have more than their heart could wish….” (Psalm 73…sort of… With apologies to the Psalmist.)
A pastor friend who has seen his share of troubles during his pastorates which total perhaps 25 years shared his questions with me.
One. Some pastors live their entire lives without problems, serving church after church with a string of unbroken successes. What sets these pastors apart?
Two. And yet other pastors seem to know setback after setback in their ministries. Are they to blame for this? What are the characteristics that lead some pastors to go from trouble to trouble in churches?
After posing the questions–good ones, I think most will agree–he said, “I expect there are so many reasons for this,” and he named a few. “God’s sovereignty, the pastor’s ability to deal with church politics, and temperament/personality.”
I promised him I would give this some thought and put the questions out here for our friends to comment on. (Consider this your invitation.)