Challenges for Pastors

Greg Strand – July 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Thom S. Rainer, “Five of the Most Difficult Challenges for Pastors

Every occupation has its challenges. Pastoral ministry is no exception. When one begins ministry, we often think we will be the exception to the rule. But it does not take long to realize through experience that there are no exceptions.

As a pastor, consultant and president of Lifeway, Rainer has both experienced personally and heard numerous accounts of some of those difficulties. To the question, “What specific part of being a pastor is the most difficult for you?” Rainer answered by listing five of those challenges:

  1. Responding graciously to someone right before you preach.
  2. Knowing what do with a staff member who is not making a vital contribution to the church.
  3. Loving a person in the church when that person is your critic.
  4. Preparing more than one quality sermon a week.
  5. Doing the funeral of a person who was not a Christian.

How would you answer this question? What would you add to the list? One I can add – doing marital counseling when my wife and I were in the midst of a conflict ourselves. Or another – preaching on an issue you know you have not yet resolved, or with which you still struggle.

(Repost originally shared May 2012 via alternate media.)

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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