The Pride of a Pastor

This will be one of my most transparent posts, so you may wish to stop reading if you don’t like ordained ministers to be real about their struggles. Now that I have issued the warning, read the rest at your own risk.

As a child, I struggled with insecurity that melted into adulthood. I was an overweight, unpopular kid. When I began excelling in music, I began to place my identity in that. My identity quickly became about what I did rather than who I was. That melted over into what I did at church. I wanted to achieve greatness in the church world. I wanted to be “successful” and well-known for being an excellent church musician and preacher. In my late twenties and early thirties, I was beginning to feel fulfilled in that. I saw God’s blessing in my full-time music ministry at that time. It was great! God was soon to open the door to my first pastorate, and that was scary. I knew God was calling me, and I was fulfilled in that role too. Something was different in the transition from one to another. My motives became purer. I wasn’t perfect, but I was seeing more of my calling to personally invest in the lives of people rather than be a platform personality.

Me during the transition (2013)

Toward the end of my first pastorate, I knew my marriage was coming to an end. Because of that, I knew ministry would look different for me. I was having to face that my identity was not a full-time vocational minister but a child of God. People could take the vocation, but they could not take my calling or salvation.

When I returned to South Carolina, it was humbling and humiliating. My pride was being slaughtered, but I attempted to preserve it at all costs. I was planning my comeback. I even started a church with hopes of doing something great and proving my “competency” to everyone. What a joke! I fell flat on my face. God used me despite my pride.

I haven’t mastered this humility thing by any means, but God is teaching me. I see myself as a servant who is unworthy but God gets the glory. I’m coming to the point where I am decreasing, God is increasing, and that is okay. Many may look at me as the “used-to-be minister”, but that’s okay. It’s okay for me to be “that guy”, but Jesus is the One everyone should see when they look at my life.

I wish I could say I gave every church my best. I wish I could say I served in humility as wasn’t trying to build a resume in those early days. I wish I could go back and apologize to every single one for my selfish pride. I can’t change the past, but I can change the future. And that’s what I plan to do!

Many of you idolize pastors and don’t want to read that they are human just like you. They struggle with bad thoughts and a ton of other things that you think they shouldn’t struggle with. But here I am…a man who needs just as much grace as anyone else. I’m a sinner. But I’m daily being transformed by the Spirit of God into the image of Christ. Hallelujah!

7 thoughts on “The Pride of a Pastor

  1. All of us have a past, but God helps us overcome. You have, and I am glad you are not defeated. God is on your side, because you are His child. Haven’t been by for a while, but all of us overcome by the blood of the lamb. I used to tell those I was teaching that we are overcomers. They would smile, and overcome attitudes, and their faces would finally start smiling. Life is a puzzle to some, but God had me there for good reason. I taught the children to overcome, and to smile through the day. They understood, and several pulled up their grades, and smiled all the more. I was their tutor.

  2. I know several ministers…some in my own family…one passed away this week. We all make mistakes. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. The difference is what you do after you have erred. There are people who never see their transgressions and that leads them down a dark path. Others can face the Truth. Facing your raw humanity leads you to growth and walking in the Light.

  3. Every pastor (and Christian) has fallen short in some area of their lives. I would like to commend you, though, that you have repented and are changing. Many pastors, and Christians in general, never deal with these things nor seek God to help them change.

  4. Pastors are no less human than the rest of us. It’s awesome that you are willing to be so vulnerable; you have obviously come a long way in your struggle with pride if you can not only acknowledge all this in your own heart but also out in the open. The statement about God still using you in the more prideful times reminds me of a statement in our small group lesson about the church yesterday–“God uses us in spite of ourselves.”

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