Leadship Encouragement for Today From Gregg Surratt

Depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief are all very real for many pastors right now. We all need encouragement for today!

Encouragement for Today

How about some encouragement for today? So many pastors are wrestling with concerns and soul care issues today. They are wanting to know, “Is it OK where my church is right now?” This encouragement for today comes from our podcast with Greg Surratt the founding pastor of Seacoast Church in the Carolinas and also a founding member of ARC, Association of Related Churches, which trains, coaches, and equips church plants across the country. He shared from his own ministry experience over the decades and offers wisdom and encouragement to struggling church leaders.

Encouragement for Today

1. You’re not alone in your struggles.

The last couple of years have been some of the hardest between the pandemic changing everything, racial tensions, the elections, division about vaccines, mask-wearing, and more. Church leaders are dealing with so many emotional issues from all of these burdens in addition to their concerns about their church. Depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief are all very real for many pastors right now. We all need encouragement for today!

2. Go by faith.

Discouragement can be an occupational hazard in ministry. There are times in your life when you don’t feel encouraged, but you still need to encourage others. By faith keep doing what you need to do. But having internal disconnect should be the exception and not the norm. Examine your life to make sure you have an integrated inside and outside. Living with this sort of integrity is the only way to sustain ministry for the long haul.

3. Find friends who can help you.

Get a group of people around you who love you and are an encouragement to you, but also people who are not impressed with you and will call out pride in your life. Surround yourself with people who know you, are concerned about your future, and want to help you get from here to there.

4. Focus on what God has given.

Don’t look at your church’s pre-COVID attendance numbers. That’s in the past. We aren’t entitled to thousands, or hundreds, or even tens. Express gratitude for the people God has brought to you and be the best pastor you can be to the people you have right now.

5. Culture trumps vision.

Greg believes that the most important part of the founding team for a new church is having someone who can create culture. Culture is treating people right and creating a place where they all feel valued and part of something bigger than themselves. If you can get a visionary leader who knows how to treat people right, create culture, develop leaders, and call out the potential in those around them, it’s a strong recipe for future success.

6. Live well and finish strong.

Many pastors don’t have a group of friends who understand what they are struggling with and can come around them. This need led Greg to start taking groups of church leaders on retreats. During this time away there is no agenda, but rather attendees can just rest, relax and experience the peace of God. At night they process with each other what God is doing in their lives, and allow time for friendships to be built with each other.

7. Don’t give up.

God never wastes a crisis. It’s in these seasons that he establishes us and our leadership is built. If we remain faithful and persevere, we will see a harvest and realize what a privilege it is to lead at this time.


Need more encouragement for today?

This article containing encouragement for today originally appeared here, and is used by permission. If you’d like to know more about the retreats Greg mentioned, visit www.retreatatchurchcreek.org

Rich Birch
Rich serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at UnSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications.