The Fall issue of Leadership Journal has arrived and the cover story is on “Dark Nights of the Soul.” Defined by editor Marshall Shelley as those times when “God seems absent…it’s a time of bleakness and abandonment…prayers seem leaden, faith doesn’t come easily and confidence erodes,” nine articles address the subject. Two in particular, “Preaching When Parched” by Gardner Taylor and “When God Seems Far Away” by John Ortberg might be of special interest to pastors.
A new national survey of protestant pastors released in October revealed that while 98% of the respondents feel that ministry is a privilege, 55% admit that it is easy to get discouraged in ministry and pastoral ministry makes them feel lonely at times.
“Pastors feel privileged, but clearly the reality of constant service can take its toll. There is discouragement and loneliness in ministry. It appears that the larger the church the more present the loneliness,” according to Ed Stetzer, Vice-President of Research and Ministry at Lifeway Christian Resources who conducted the study.