One of the fringe benefits of this job is the privilege of sitting where a lot of interesting people and ideas crisscross. This past week was no exception. My appointment book was filled with the names of many gifted and dedicated people who wanted to talk about what's happening in the church as well as in their own lives. What sticks out as I reflect on those conversations is not the exciting news or stimulating ideas we may have discussed, but the high percentage of hurt and pain that seeped through the words and phrases. Often the subject of conflict and crisis became the focal point of our dialogue. I was vividly reminded that the price of ministry is high. Few Christian leaders escape at least one devastating, crunching experience during their lifetimes.
Roy Price, a Louisville, Kentucky, minister refers to a poll conducted by a major denomination where it was found that a pastoral crisis occurs every eighteen months among its ministers (see "Building Trust Between Pastor and Congregation"). ...1