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7 Confessions of a “Sucky” Pastor

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I have been doing some form of pastoring for almost 30-years, and I have certainly been a sucky pastor on many occasions…so I hope you can learn from my failures and use them too…


#1 I was a sucky  pastor when I…Allowed myself to get burned out

I forgot a very simple fact. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to care for others! A burned out leader is a dangerous leader, please care for yourself emotionally and make sure to do whatever it takes to fill yourself up on a regular basis.

#2 I was a sucky pastor when I…Put church growth ahead of my wife’s well-being

Keeping the accelerator wide open while your wife has to support and love you…at the same time she has to care for  kids, parents, and other church people… it’s not so honoring to her. If she goes down, you will go down! Care for YOUR bride first, and then care for Jesus’ bride.

#3 I was a sucky pastor when I…Ignored the passions of those I lead

I have rolled over those on our team for the sake of the “vision.” Little did I know that in doing that, I greatly delayed and harmed the vision. We can’t do anything of great value by ourselves, and allowing those with us to lead and operate in their passion will bring the vision closer and faster than you ever imagined.

#4 I was a sucky pastor when I…Forgot the importance of the kids ministry

I don’t know how to talk to kids. Honestly, I love mine (all grown now) but I don’t know how to really interact with kids, it’s just not my thing. When my kids were young it was easy to put the proper energy and resources toward that ministry, but once they moved…so did I.

I forgot, “the church that wins the kids, wins the city.” Don’t ever forget that.

#5 I was a sucky pastor when I…Tried to do what worked somewhere else

Trying to stay relevant and on the cutting edge by using someone else’s “how” is exhausting. Constantly trying something new from someone else just doesn’t work. You have to pay the price on your face before God to know what is really next.

#6 I was a sucky pastor when I…Didn’t remember what was important to those on the team

Stay involved in the life of those on your team. If you forget what’s going on with them, their families and struggles, your team will only be loyal to the paycheck.

#7 I was a sucky pastor when I…Minimized the real pain of others

While running hard for Kingdom, I would forget or not consider the pain of those in the church. Saying to myself, “it’s OK, they will understand, I’m doing great things for God over here.” No they want! And really they shouldn’t, we are in the people business, and it’s easy to keep trying to catch new fish and let the ones we have already caught, starve in the net.

What did you do that really showed your own “suckiness” as a pastor?


Categories: Church Leadership, Church Staff, Leadership


  • pastoralski

    I was a sucky pastor when I actually thought I could please everybody rather than leading and teaching people to seek what pleases the Lord.

  • James Hundley

    I was a sucky pastor when…
    I renamed/minimized my sins to things other cutesy things versus what the bible calls them. I don’t see the bible calling me to repent for being ‘grumpy’ with my wife and praise be to her, she would call me out on this.
    Since I have done everything on your list…if I personally posted this blog I would have to change the title to “7 confessions of a prideful pastor.”

    thanks for sharing sir…

    • artie

      Really appreciate your honesty James. I think you’re right, the “prideful pastor” would be a great title, just not as “sexy” :)

  • John

    I was a “SUPER” sucky pastor when I sinned and let down my family, entire church, and all my friends. I lost my church position over it and will live with the terrible consequences the rest of my life.

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