8 Reasons to Persevere Through the Tough Pastoral Times

When the going gets tough, what makes pastors stick it out?

8 Reasons to Persevere Through the Tough Pastoral Times

Yesterday, I posted a blog about why pastors sometimes want to quit in difficult times. Not all of the pastors I’ve talked with actually left their church, however, even when they really wanted to leave. Here are some of the reasons they decided to stay:

  1. They knew they were called to the church. In many cases, the pastors simply could not deny the way that God called them to that particular church. To leave would have been a matter of disobedience.
  2. They still had friends and family connections. I noted yesterday that some pastors wanted to leave because of the cost their family was paying. Even in those cases, though, some pastors and their families still had some deep friendships that kept them there.
  3. They faced financial considerations. If these pastors had no place to go yet—and thus would have no income if they left—they chose to stay rather than face financial hardships.
  4. They felt their ministry was incomplete. Even in the most difficult times at their church, some pastors recognized they had not yet completed the task there.
  5. Their families were geographically close. When grandparents live near you, it’s tougher to leave; thus, you work harder to get through the tough times.
  6. They had recently called a new staff member. In some cases, pastors chose to stay because they had a new staff member—and they didn’t want to let down that staff member by leaving quickly.
  7. They were finishing a doctoral degree. Sometimes, leaving a church in the middle of a degree (especially a D.Min degree that requires a project) causes a long delay in finishing the degree.
  8. They just didn’t feel “released.” In prayer, they simply had no sense that God was releasing them from the work.

From pastors you know who stayed despite tough times, what would you add to this list?

This article originally appeared here.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless is professor and senior associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a pastor for almost twenty years, and is the author of Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Truth for Victory, Discipled Warriors: Healthy Churches Winning Spiritual Warfare, Making Disciples through Mentoring, Serving in Your Church's Prayer Ministry, and Eating the Elephant. Dr. Lawless speaks extensively around the countryYou can read articles from Dr. Chuck Lawless on his personal blog (ChuckLawless.com) ( or connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook. .