Ministry Depression is a Real Thing

After hearing several of my friends and fellow pastors talk about the emotional toll of ministry,  I thought it would be good to give you an honest take on the pain most of us carry.  
So you know how preachers are THE MOST confident, faith centered, strong people you know…
We’re not. We struggle, we doubt, and we struggle with depression.
This past week I came home from the office for lunch where I was still chewing on a gripe I heard. This gripe came from an unknown source, and frankly, I should have treated it as such. That said, I let it have a piece of my mind, and it burrowed deep with in my heart.
I came home and shared the gripe with my wife. I could see the hurt roll over her eyes as we both felt the pain of previous gripes and church wounds that we’ve never let go. We both felt the dizzying feeling of, oh no, not again. Deep within my chest, I could feel the tightening as 11 years of ministry hurts awakened in me.
Truthfully, this gripe wasn’t that great, but it was another straw on top of a mountain that I have never let go.
We preachers are not strong men. Most of us are weak and worn down. We walk with the wounds that we guard our hearts with.
After a moment of spiraling, my wife called me out of it. She looked at me and said “Wes, who are you called to serve?” I knew the question because it is the plumb line we return to when walking through ministry pain.
The pastor is a broken man who is called to serve God first. He is called to endure the pain of ministry and love churches who may or may not treat him right. In any pastor’s tenure, he will walk through pain and depression.
I guess I write this blog today to ask for your prayer. I imagine any preacher would say the same. I will gladly let you know that I carry the hurts with me… as does EVERY pastor.
Today, will you pray for your pastor?
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

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