What do you do when you were given something that you didn’t request and it’s seemingly killing you? How do you handle a major responsibility when you feel woefully unprepared? How would you feel knowing that the thing that you’ve dedicated your life to may only last 3 years at best? Would you feel secure in committing your life to a calling or field that has one of the highest suicide rates amongst all professions and vocations? Could you celebrate a “call” that has an 80% chance of negatively affecting your family? Would you enter into an area that will adversely affect your children and most likely separate you from them? Would you happily surrender your life in serving an aggregation that is indifferent about your commitment, ambivalent toward your well-being and unappreciative of your life’s mission and purpose? If any of the aforementioned questions caused a huge lump to develop in your throat, a pain in your stomach or you to shake your head, then welcome to a missive that presents “Scandal: The Real Preachers of Gospel Ministry”.
As a lad, I learned how clergy played a important role in civil rights, education, community development and social justice. Over the past 25-30 years, the upward mobility of African-Americans, technology, social media and more specialized needs have placed greater demands on leaders. The rise of more educated and critical demographics has forced clergy to shift in their paradigm. Sunday morning and Wednesday night Bible Studies are no longer sufficiently meeting the needs of parishioners. More is being required!
The “absenteeism” of fathers in many homes has also created quagmires for 21st century clergy. Many preachers are now ministering without proper mentoring–serving in isolation, anger and sometimes rebellion.
In other cases, the “Fathers and Mothers” of ministry were not properly “parented” themselves; therefore making it difficult to give what they’d never received.
This present generation is in an existential “tug of war”, being pulled back and forth by the dissonance of morality versus ethics. How are we to navigate? What is the response to same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS, poverty, injustices, team-building, racism, gun control, environmental destruction, church irrelevance and the like? How will clergy tread the boisterous tidal waves of apathy, avoidance and antagonism toward faith?
The personal and professional challenges of ministry have been too difficult for some to overcome. Over the past year, 13 pastors have taken their lives and a myriad of others have been challenged by their own personal failings. While it’s very easy for many people to assail the character of those who’ve struggled and highlighted their “Scandals”, the question remains, is there help for the pastor, preacher and church leader?
Since 2006, God has been dealing with me about strengthening Pastors and Leaders. In order to address the kaleidoscope of issues within ecclesial contexts, God has allowed us to host annual meetings, monthly webinars and conference calls to empower, edify and equip leaders. On November 5-7, we will host an intimate, up close and personal and transformative meeting designed to address many of the things discussed in this opus. The ministry team and staff of The House of Hope Atlanta, Bishop Paul S. Morton and I are excited about serving you during this time!
Ministry is tough and has major crises, but this year at “Nailed” you’ll receive tools that will help stabilize and maximize your ministry!
See You Soon!
Pastor of one of Atlanta’s Mega Churches
This is the New Member’s Graduation Class on this past Sunday, October 26, 2014