Burnt Out Pastors

One of the big reasons we hold our Apollos discipleship class at our church is so we can train everyone as to how they can work with the Spirit and figure out what kind of anointing they have to operate in. This way we can all operate as a body of believers rather than take on the ideology that many American churches cling to:

  • Someone’s in the hospital: call the pastor.
  • Someone needs to be saved: call the pastor.
  • Someone needs to be prayed over: call the pastor.
  • Someone needs counseling: call the pastor.
  • Someone needs etc: call the pastor.

You get my point.

Now as a pastor, I actually enjoy doing these kinds of things, but we are ALL called to do such things. We are a royal priesthood and all gifted uniquely. Part of the role of a pastor is to help and train the church to discover that gifting and prep them for ministry. We all must work together to make this thing work.

This was put on my mind this morning when I came across a conversation Jethro had with Moses in Exodus 18:13-27.

It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?” Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing and God socommands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”

So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

Moses had to put others in positions of power so that he wasn’t the only one doing everything. He had to stop himself from burning himself out. Numerous churches today have the same issue. There’s no need to put absolutely everything on the pastor when we are all the ones called to ministry. This is the Biblical approach.

By the way, I’m not writing this because anyone’s put me in this situation. I’m just writing it because it’s on my mind.


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