Post by Tiffany Cooper

Discouraged: To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.

The topic of discouragement has been heavy on my heart as I talk with many pastors’ wives. Regardless of the church size, leadership style, or location, a huge percentage of pastors and pastors’ wives are dealing with feelings of discouragement. It’s painful to watch individuals who were once filled with enthusiasm and passion, now lose confidence and hope.

Matthew Barnett discusses this issue in his blog post The Cure for Discouraged Pastors.

Discouragement abounds in the life of a pastor. Every week it’s a battle to make budget, keep peace in an organization, and stay fresh and motivated yourself to keep pouring more of your life into everyone and everything. If any pastor is honest they have visited the idea more than once of, “Why don’t I just quit.”

Maranatha Life did a pastoral study in 2002. Although the statistics are dated, they are interesting. Statistics About Pastors. Here are a few:

  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 80% of pastors’ wives feel pressured to do things and be something in the church that they are really not.
  • 70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only 50% still felt called.

Next week we’ll discuss how to deal with discouragement. But today we want you to know that you’re not alone! This community of women at Leading and Loving It is supporting you with love and compassion today. We’ve all had moments of discouragement and understand how they can impact you and your family. Just don’t walk through discouragement alone, lean on us.

Sometimes you just need to know that you’re not alone. Please let us know if you’re feeling discouraged. How can we support you today?

9 thoughts on “Discouraged

  1. Kathyk

    I felt like this when I found you! Praise Jesus he has renewed my passion for ministry far greater than I would have dreamed! Praying those that are discouraged fine renewed strength and vision!

  2. Cindi

    This is such an on time post! I am really struggling right now! Thank you for this at just the right time. I’m finding it very discouraging to not know exactly what it is that God wants this pastor’s wife to do. I have been a fill in in several areas, but am battling knowing what my purpose is. I would really appreciate your prayers right now!
    Thank you!

  3. Traci

    Maybe some of you will disagree but I believe that sometimes are calling is to just be “the Pastors wife”. Our husbands go through so much. I am involved in other areas of our church but when I feel like I’m not doing enough or that it’s time for me to step out of something…I consider that a time for God to make my “ministry” my husband. I’m the only one who can create a safe haven for him (outside of God), be 100% trustworthy, faithful and encouraging. That’s my purpose! 🙂

  4. Sharon

    Thanks Traci for those wise words! Much of the time I get so lost in ministry I forget to minister to the one I am first called to minister to.

    It is so easy as a pw to feel inadequate and lonely. We serve in a church that is very rural and in a town which does not have many strong believers. Many times I feel lonely, need a spiritual mentor and cannot travel to conferences (too far in cost and time to travel).

    Thanks for your site where we can find encouragement!

  5. Erika

    Okay, okay! I’ve been meaning to get plugged in to leading and loving it for months now…this post is the icing on the cake! 🙂 I need support and encouragement and prayers…church plant 4 months old! 😉

  6. Erika

    Okay okay! I’ve been meaning to get plugged in to leading and loving it for months now! This post is just the icing in the cake 🙂 I need support and encouragement and prayers…church plant 4 months old 😉 yep.

  7. Erika

    Haha oops…posted twice bc I thought it didn’t take the first one! My phone force closed it! Hmm. Well I guess I remembered what I had said the first time well enough 😉 haha sorry!

  8. Brad

    I’ve pastored for 25 years and have the bruises and scars to prove it. Being a pastor (and his wife) is a thankless, lonely, often difficult job with few rewards. Our deepest pain comes from those we break bread with in God’s house. I am still shocked by people I thought were loving brothers in the Lord who suddenly turn on us or abandon us to our loneliness, grief, and challenges. Satan never relents, and will pester you until the very end. Most couples who start in ministry will not finish in ministry because their discouragement gets the best of them. And for those who do finish the course, they’re like animals dragging themselves off the road after being hit by a truck — not mortally wounded, but facing years of pain and recovery. For some reason we all think we’re supposed to be like Paul “finishing well”. The truth is, few of us will do it. But as you make your attempt you will need as much support as you can find (usually from outside of your church body). Glad this blog is adding its two cents worth. Good luck ladies.

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