Jul 22 2008

Processing Pain

clay

This week at Grace Place we looked at the story of David and how he dealt with the pain of betrayal.  I love how honest he was in his prayers to the Lord.  For example:

“Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and in deep distress.  My problems go from bad to worse.  Oh save me from them all… See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me!” (Psalm 25:16-19, NLT)

David knew the deep pain of betrayal and loneliness.  He pours out his heart to God and asks him to “feel my pain and see my trouble” (v. 18).  He took his pain and “deep distress” to the Lord and laid it out honestly and frankly.

There are many ways to process the pain of betrayal and abandonment.  Some are unhealthy–withdrawal, isolation, self-medicating with harmful substances, harboring resentment and bitterness, etc.  Healthy processing starts with frank and honest conversation with the Lord about the pain.  Remember that when, like David, your problems seem to “go from bad to worse.”


Jul 22 2008

Surviving Ministry

clay

Emotional burnout is common in many professions, but especially for pastors who feel like they must meet many people’s expectations.  I read a study that says 1 in 5 pastors are physically and/or emotionally “burned out.”  One psychologist defines burnout as: “a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion marked by physical depletion and chronic fatigue, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and by development of a negative self-concept and negative attitudes towards work, life and other people.”

 

I’ve recently realized that I’ve been through a stretch where I have experienced at least moderate emotional burnout.  I’m working on changing that, with the Lord’s help, a Christian counselor’s help, and a whole lot of supportive people praying for me.  I recently read an interesting and helpful blog entry by Mark Driscoll called “Death by Ministry.”  Check it out: http://www.theresurgence.com/mdblog_2006-05-24_death_by_ministry


Jul 22 2008

When People Leave Our Church

clay

Over the last year we had a lot of new people come to Grace Place, but also had an unusual number of people leave who had been attending for a long time.  That was disturbing and I’ve been thinking a lot about reasons people leave a church and how pastors, staff, and church members should respond when people are thinking about leaving or leave.  Our Berthoud Campus Pastor, Steve Kurtright, shared the following article with me.  It makes some interesting points.  I plan to discuss this with the Grace Place staff team: http://www.drurywriting.com/david/05-FriendLeavingChurch.htm