Pastoral Identity Crisis: Have You Built a Moat Around Yourself?

I’ve found that oftentimes we develop what I call the “ministry guise” as an excuse for just about anything “negative” in our churches. Has a pastoral identity crisis caused you to build a moat around yourself?

Pastoral Identity Crisis: Have You Built A Moat Around Yourself?

Learn the Art of Self-Reflection for the Sake of Self-Awareness for the sake of Transformation and Growth (and invite some other humans to help you).

Pastors are always talking about how people need to believe in the gospel and experience spiritual transformation as the Holy Spirit begins to work. They’re also always talking about the importance of living in community because other followers of Jesus are there to both serve and be served.

Sometimes, however, it’s easy to say these things for other people but forget to believe them for ourselves. But we need to. We need to learn to ask ourselves hard questions. We need to be self-aware of both our strengths and our weaknesses. We need to buy into an approach to spirituality that understands that becoming like Jesus and leading like Jesus is a process and that we change over time and that we should be growing. We also need to know that there are huge culture shifts happening and that the way in which the church must communicate an understandable gospel may require requires methodological changes. That’s why it’s important for church leaders to both ask and be asked tough questions. For example:

  • What am I doing that is a bottle neck to our commitment to empower people for ministry?
  • How can I better equip everyone?
  • What practices do we have that actually undermine our theological commitments?
  • What values are working against our mission (which is hopefully God’s mission)?
  • Is our mission the same as God’s mission (you knew that was coming)?
  • Who is able to challenge me/us?
  • Why do we do _________?
  • What is the perception that our community has about our church?
  • Are we making disciples?
  • How are we measuring our effectiveness?
  • Would anyone notice if our church closed?
  • How am I going to grow in my leadership skills?

These are just a few of the types of questions that need to be regularly asked. But if your assumption is that the problem is never you and it’s never the church’s culture(s) or ministries, you’ll likely never ask the hard questions, right?

Ask them. Take a risk. You’ll discover that growing as a leader will actually help you both face the curves that life and ministry throw at you and the church you serve as well as make the right decisions in the midst of those curves.

What do you think? I’d love your thoughts in the comments! How have you grown in this area? What are some practical ways to continue growing?

Pages: 1 2

Luke Geraty is a young budding pastor/theologian who serves at Trinity Christian Fellowship. Husband of one, father of five and deeply committed to proclaiming Jesus and the kingdom, Luke contributes regularly to,, and Multiply Vineyard. Follow Luke on Twitter or Facebook.