As a leader and a pastor- I know its normal to feel discouraged but it doesn’t make it any easier!
Some thoughts for leaders (including myself!) who might be facing discouragement:
1.) We Have an Enemy
Helping plant a church means engaging in spiritual warfare against the enemy. A leader needs to be aware of the fact that he will be attacked and one of the ways that he will be attacked is through times of doubt and discouragement and times where he will be tempted to give in to feelings of pride and arrogance.
Every pastor I have ever talked to has admitted to giving in to the temptation of comparing their ministry or church to other churches or minstries. Often times that either fills us with discouragement as we ask why our church isn’t growing as fast as someone else’s church or else we get puffed up with pride because we think that because God has blessed our church that must mean that there is something special about us and our efforts.
2.) Your Worth is Not Based on What You do But by Who You Are
When a leader feels down and discouraged, it is important that he realize that his worth does not come from what he does for God but instead is based on his position in God- that he is a child of the King. It is also important to realize that there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than we can see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we “live by faith not by sight.” Often times, God is doing something that we can’t see. We need to trust in him and walk by faith rather than simply relying on human wisdom.
3.) You Are Not Alone!
You are not alone in your feelings of doubt and discouragement! Other leaders have felt or are feeling the same way!
A leader also needs to realize that his followers will also face times of discouragement and doubt. His job is to encourage and to present a clear and compelling vision. Proverbs 29:18 states that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” If we are to lead a church that is serious about the Great Commission, it is important to cast a compelling vision and to also attend to the needs of our people. We need to encourage them when they are down and to teach them to walk by faith and not by sight.
Finally- be encouraged. This too shall pass.