Or, The Almost Inevitable Ruin of Every Minister and How to Avoid It, a message by Don Whitney to pastors and church leaders at the 2007 Omaha Bible Church conference.
I recommended this message earlier in the week, but it’s worth a post as well. Whitney begins:
Almost every minister knows another minister, if not several, you don’t want to be like. But the sad news is that regardless of your age or education or experience it is almost inevitable that you will become the kind of minister, elder, or leader, that today, you don’t want to be.
We’ll be ruined, or we’ll quit. Regarding the alarming stats about how many pastors quit pastoring, he observes that many will:
opt out for health reasons,
wash out in their private lives,
bow out realizing they misread the call of God,
bail out because of the stress being so great,
be forced out by their churches,
walk out from a sense of frustration and failure.
Still in the introduction, Whitney says:
Terrible things still happen…to ministers and ruin them. And there is an almost inevitable ruin of every minister. And it will happen to you, unless you avoid ruin by making progress. How do you make progress in the ministry instead of shipwreck?
To answer the question he heads to one of the most influential passages in the pastoral epistles, 1 Timothy 4:15-16. I’ve been marinating much in this passage since 2003 and recommend Whitney’s treatment.