Part 8: The Cost~ Shepherd-Princes and Sarah’s Daughters~ Interviews with Pastors and their Wives in Honor of Pastor Appreciation Month

What has being a pastor/ pastor’s wife cost you?

Myself. Everything. It is a calling, a life, not a job. -Pastor James La Belle, author, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Cape Cod, MA

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15 NKJV

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5 NASB 

Everything you are. -Pastor Paul Campo, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod, MA

I don’t know if I view it in terms of cost, because as a Christian I would be doing a lot of the same things. I enjoyed what I did as a living before, but it wasn’t hard for me to leave it. The ministry has dictated where I live, but I want to be where God wants me to be. It’s a comfort.  All in all I am very content, blessed, pleased to be doing what I am. I don’t count it a burden. -Pastor Chip Ganiear, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod, MA

Everything. To do the will of God is going to cross your will at times. Living where I don’t want to, being in places I’d rather not. God needs to be our one thing. People think they can do what they want, have it all and be a Christian. I don’t want to get to Heaven and have a little shack because I was so selfish here.What happened to, “What does God want me to do?” I don’t see anyone who has been faithful and is sorry. My husband and I are crazy enough to believe laying up treasure in Heaven is worth anything we sacrifice here. -Lori Ganiear, Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod MA

Time, most of all, along with some personal liberties. It’s not a 9 to 5 job, it’s a 24/7/365 commitment. My personal point of view is if a person is going to take on the responsibility of being a shepherd to the flock of God they must be willing and prepared to sacrifice almost anything. It’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s a great honor as well as a huge responsibility. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

Time with my family. Interrupted plans or vacations. Like when we made plans to attend an event as a family and were ready to leave and there’s a knock at the door and a lady from the church is at the door with tears streaming down her face. She didn’t know we had plans… -Anonymous

Everything…It has isolated me until recently when I actually started going to another church as well as ours.-Anonymous

I suppose, from an earthly point of view, it has cost me something. I walked away from a corporate management situation, which would have given me a six-figure income in order to pastor this church which does not cover my living expenses. It has cost my family much for they have had to endure the rigors of ministry along with me. I have been persecuted, faced death-threats, nearly killed in an auto accident, have gone grey before my time, many sleepless nights and anxious days. I’ve endured ridicule, rumors and scandals and a host of other challenges and difficulties that try to steal my confidence in Christ. And, as Paul said to the Corinthian church: “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” -Rev. Michael Duncan, speaker, author and Pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington, WA

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  Matthew 6:20 NASB

What is the hardest part of being a pastor?

Not forgetting your dependence upon God; that you can’t do it in your own strength, you can do nothing without Him. -Pastor James La Belle

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NKJV

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. I Corinthians 15:10 NKJV 

Balancing home, work and ministry.  -Pastor Wayne Schaffer, New Life, Altoona, PA

Dealing with stubborn, rebellious and ungrateful people. -Pastor Patrick Jordan, The Door CFM,  Jamaica, West Indies

Lack of appreciation; people can be so insensitive. You can’t talk to anyone without being asked a ministerial question. Living in a glass house. When you get shouted down. It’s even harder for the pastor’s wife, as she doesn’t have the release to be able to say something. -Pastor Paul Campo

Lonliness. -Anonymous

Getting insight into how people think of me that I really didn’t want to know, whereas if I wasn’t in this position I wouldn’t get that level of feedback. -Pastor Chip Ganiear

Trying to get people to understand the importance of taking the Word of God as seriously as they should. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

What has been the most unexpected hardship to pastoring?

Loneliness. Isolation. The toll it takes on our children. -Anonymous

Trying to be a source of strength and comfort for someone who has lost a loved one due to a tragic accident or suicide. Wanting to relieve their grief but knowing nothing I could say or do can accomplish that. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

I suppose the most unexpected hardship has been getting people to follow Jesus according to the Bible. When I first started preaching I assumed that most people attending church were actually seeking the Lord and hungry to know His word. That has not been my experience over these many years. -Rev. Michael Duncan

Still being a sinner. Being a pastor does not remove the need to wage the good fight and mortify my own sinful deeds and desires. Being a pastor does not remove your struggles; in some respects it increases them, since you become more of a target for Satan’s malice than you ever were before. –Pastor James La Belle

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 NASB

What is your biggest challenge pastoring?

Being patient with God’s people; wanting and expecting them to change on my time schedule; trusting the all-wise and all-good God to work according to His will and timing. -Pastor James La Belle

Preparing four sermons a week, especially when there are no trigger thoughts. Betrayals.  – Pastor Patrick Jordan

Loving and forgiving every offense, no matter what. Keeping the ministry in its place and keeping a balance. -Anonymous

I hate counseling!!! It is draining and it seems worthless most times. Counseling is emotionally draining, especially when people are unwilling to heed the advice they’re seeking. -Anonymous

It’s non-stop; you’re on call 24 hours a day. Sometimes there are seasons of problems. -Pastor Paul Campo

Myself as an individual, dealing with my own pride and ego. Maintaining a level of humility is a bigger challenge than I wish it to be. It’s one of those things the ministry has built-in relief valves for.

You are always under the microscope. -Pastor Chip Ganiear.

An interesting question… My biggest challenge has been moving the congregation away from a corporate mentality to a Biblical one. Many churches and church members see the fellowship in the same light that they look at a health club or affinity group like the Elks Lodge. So, they have built-in expectations that are not Biblical, but based upon worldly presumptions. They see the pastor as the CEO or as the program/facilities manager of a corporation and as such have based their approach to the church as if they’re attending a service organization. -Rev. Michael Duncan

Our public schools have become the church of  humanists who teach evolution, Darwinism, and many other things that oppose and refute what the Bible teaches.

Due to this, many of our younger people see the Bible as a book of myths, legends, and tales, or a religiously based guide that an older generation with outdated moral standards is trying to impose upon them.

Knowing the youth are the future of our nation and realizing we must make a concentrated effort to reach them makes this a challenge I personally view as desperate. -Pastor, Transformation Ministries

I can handle the challenge people, the difficult people, the extra grace people. Churches are like rowboats. You can have people in the boat not rowing; you do want to encourage them to row; but what you can’t have is people rowing in the opposite direction. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

*Text the word PASTOR to 74574 for daily/weekly reminders & tips to pray for your pastor.

**Share some words of appreciation for your pastor and he will be listed on the Wall of Honor and entered to win a retreat at the Energize Lodge.

Author: Rachael M. Colby

Born and raised in Jamaica, award-winning writer Rachael M. Colby resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Wife, mom, beach bum, artist, work in progress, avid Tweeter—#HealthyFaithChat leader, Rachael writes to glorify God, encourage believers, and reach the lost. She connects culture’s questions with Christianity’s answers, inspires faith, and motivates through articles, devotions, poetry, and interviews. She has a heart for racial reconciliation and to uplift those who serve in tough places. Her work has appeared on Southern Ohio Christian Voice, Inkspirations Online, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog, in the compilation books Creative Writing Journal: Faith Inspired Writing Prompts & Hope-Filled Poetry, The Courage to Write: 62 devotions to Encourage your Writing Journey, and Defining Moments: Memorable and Inspiring Stories from Outstanding Leaders, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Well That Was Funny, and in the Oak Ridger newspaper. She runs on copious amounts of coffee and chocolate and a whole lot of "Help me, Jesus." Her WIPS include a compilation of her family’s and others’ stories of their work as civil rights activists (adult and children’s books), and a devotional for writers. You can connect with Rachael on her website,—a place for seekers, followers, and writers, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: