An intriguing review Crushed: The Perilous Journey Called Ministry
As I travel and speak across the country, I often am approached by pastors (or sometimes ministry couples) who have been broken and shattered by mistreatment from their congregations.
Now, often, on this blog, the issue of minister mistreating the congregation comes up -- and I absolutely believe that spiritual (or emotional) abuse at the hands of a shepherd is intolerable.
However, there's another side which is not often stated. There are a lot of dysfunctional churches that "eat pastors alive."
Thankfully, I'm serving in a healthy congregation where that is not the case. Our people aren't perfect (and neither am I) -- but as a rule of thumb, we get along, and are going somewhere together.
Sadly, in a huge number of churches, the environment is one of negative warfare.
Expectations for ministers are unbelievably high. Pastors are expected to be "supermen" (or "superwomen"). They are often regarded as a function rather than as a person. If they fall short of "expectations" then are shredded up one side and down the other.
They become targets for continual criticism, gossip and nit-picking. This situation is depleting and only leads to frustration and discouragment for everybody.
To the lay people who read this blog: Cut your pastor some slack. Pray for the family in the parsonage. Look for ways to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Instead of finding fault, ask God to bless your pastor, and lend a helping hand.