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Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1773


 Re:

There is no reason for a Christian, irrespective of Pastor or a common Church goer to be depressed. In every job there is pressure, but if our goal is to please Lord and work for his glory then we will not be anxious. The example of Elijah that is given in this thread is an Old Covenant example. No one can prove that Timothy was depressed, no scriptural evidence of it.

The fundamental problem is the concept of Pastor and Church in most of the Churches are unbiblical. Let me list them,

1. Only a calling from God will determine whether a person is a pastor or not. No theological learning can make someone pastor. Sadly in mega Churches today, a person is selected purely based on educational qualification. If there is no spirit given life then no education can replace it. The lack of life and presence of serious unrepented sins is the cause for most failures.

2. A pastor should never be elected by Church or appointed by Board that runs a Church. Such a practice is unbiblical. He should come from the Church and appointed by an Apostle (A man of God who planted the Church like Paul).

3. He should never get a salary from Church. This will make him a slave to Church than to Jesus. The pastor has to maintain a certain count in the Church to get a healthy salary which is clearly unbiblical. A Pastor can accept gifts but not paid based on a contract. I agree with the way George Muller had an offering box for his expenses alone which was independent of the Church offering.

4. Paul always appointed elders and not a single elder. So it is clearly unbiblical for a single person to lead a congregation. Jesus always sent his disciples in pairs for ministry. New Covenant is different from Old where there was only 1 prophet at a time. In New Covenant, it is fellowship say Paul and Barnabas, Peter and John etc.


_________________
Sreeram

 2013/12/16 5:29Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Why Are So Many Pastors Committing Suicide?


The fact of the matter is just because “we” here on sermonindex do not believe that a one pastor system is correct doesn’t help those who are “IN” a one pastor system and struggling.

Can you or I step out of our “belief” box to help another WITHOUT giving them a lecture on what is right or wrong with their system?

These pastors are still dying by their own hand while you guys debate the one shepherd system. It’s not helping anyone. This is what’s wrong with the church today, people are dying while others are debating.

What are you going to do about it? Debate, lecture or actually be help in the spiritual realm and pray?


_________________
Lisa

 2013/12/16 8:31Profile
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 531
America's Heartand

 Re:

Sree stated

Quote:
No one can prove that Timothy was depressed, no scriptural evidence of it.



With all due respect brother there most certainly is. In fact He was far more than just depressed. Timothy had quit, threw in the towel, and was leaving ministry all together.

That absolutely is contained within scripture. You are going to have to dig, pray, study, and diligently research to find it all. However, it is 100% absolutely there.

It is also very disheartening to read the responses in so many posts. So many express this idea that those pastors have brought it on themselves because they are the "lead" person at the churches and fellowships they serve.

What a total load of specious bunk!

Many seem to think that if ministry were spread around enough this wouldn't happen. Some posters are expressing thoughts that seem actually spawned by jealousy, imho. Ironically there is some truth to the idea that not having more folks involved in ministry is a key to these tragedies.

However, quit pointing your finger at the guy often sacrificing for the sheep.

It is often the fault of the people in that community. That's right ... quit blaming the pastor ... look in the mirror and realize THAT PERSON... yes YOU is often the problem. Timothy had the same experience! You know why there often aren't more elders and sharing of ministry? OFTEN IT IS BECAUSE THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH FOLKS QUALIFIED ACCORDING TO THE BIBLICAL STANDARDS LISTS IN SCRIPTURE TO BE ELDERS! I can not tell you how many times I have been consulting with a local church that were either electing or appointing elders/deacons, etc. at their annual meeting. The problem was their bylaws required a minimum of perhaps 12. However, they only had 3 qualified by Biblical standards.... put guys in place that were less than solid Christian examples .... or restrict that role of service to those that were qualified ... and then hear folks like the ones that have been belly aching on this thread continue to do so in the church and sowing discord!

Furthermore.... I flatly believe that all this talk in the posts of not being given space to minister is total hogwash!

Please tell me when .....

When did you ever ask to go visit the sick and were told no? When???
When did you ever try to help marriages be healed and told no? When????
When were you ever told not to pray for a move of God's Spirit? When???
When were you ever told not to share your faith with coworkers, neighbors, family, etc? When???
When were you ever told not to feed the hungry or help widows? When???
When were you ever discouraged from praying for the persecuted church?
When were you ever told to not support legitimate missions? When???
When did you ever ask to serve in the ministry of helps and were told no?When were you ever told not to show God's love to the children in a church nursery? When???
When were you ever told to not volunteer service to clean toilets, scrub floors, or do things that are unseen on earth but rewarded in heaven? When??
When were you ever told not to get together with coworkers at lunch and pray for you fellow employees? When??

I'll tell you when. NEVER! The whole idea that you can not do ministry is absolute total bull. If you wanted to you would be doing it instead of whining like little girls on a message board. Quit whining and running your mouth and get out there with a good heart and serve. God help us!

If you can visit and pray for the sick, help marriages be healed, pray for revival, evangelize your family, coworkers, and neighbors, feed the hungry, help the widows, pray for the persecuted church, serve in helps, be a role model to the kids and youth, support missions, do unseen service ministries, gather coworkers, family, etc. and pray for your community then share your faith with them then HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY DARE TO SAY YOU ARE NOT GIVEN SPACE TO MINISTER? The only answer I can see is that a person is simply full of pride and does not actually understand that ministry is just plain hard work and service to others ... and MANY pastors have to do that while being sniped at from the mouths of those who say they are followers of Christ. However, these "critics" actually just attack God's servants while they personally whittle upon the stick of do nothing!

jstrang shared some stats from research a good number of years back that showed
Quote:
“Here is a report of a survey of 10,000 Protestant ministers conducted by Sociologist Jeffrey Hadden; 7,441 responded to the questions. Here are the horrifying statistics. Read them, then wonder why God is grieved with our spiritual life. (I am indebted to Christ for the Nations, May 1982, for this information.)”[1]

Bible – inspired Word of God?
82% of Methodists said “No”
81% of Presbyterians said “No”
89% of Episcopals said “No”
57% of American Lutherans said “No”

Jesus the Son of God?
82% of Methodists said “No”
81% of Presbyterians said “No”
89% of Episcopals said “No”
75% of American Lutherans said “No”

Physical resurrection of Jesus?
51% of Methodists said “No”
35% of Presbyterians said “No”
30% of Episcopals said “No”
33% of Baptists said “No”
13% of American Lutherans said “No”


“The August 1982 issue of Pulpit Helps contains this statement: ‘In a recent survey of one of the large, well-known theological colleges of the United States, 93% of the students studying for the ministry stated: “I have no devotional life.”’ What a crop of future preachers! How can a man speak for God if he does not walk with God?”[2]



Although the survey is over 30 years old it is one I have oft quoted. I suspect it is even worse now. However, let me just make this observation. These stats are all from dying and dead denominations. There is no surprise here. They have been that way for decades... or longer. There may be a few lights left in them ... but very, very few.

Methodists, Episcopalian, Presbyterians, Lutherans (ELCA), Baptists (SBC is less so) ... yes in these places you often have leadership that is not born again. They are doing a "career" same as a guy running another business. I know this well. I serve in a community that in the entire ministerial alliance (pastors/priests/whatever, of all churches in the city) there are only 2 of us that are actually born again followers of Jesus Christ. The rest are just "religionists". However, there is an interesting note to this. The churches they are at love them! They are exactly what the people want there. It is the fulfillment of 2 Tim 4:3
Quote:
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit THEIR OWN DESIRES, THEY WILL GATHER around them a great number of teachers to say what THEIR ITCHING EARS WANT TO HEAR



Do you get it yet? Do you see why there are false ministers? Read the verse again. They are there because that is EXACTLY WHAT THE PEOPLE WANTED!

No wonder these places are filled with wolves in sheeps clothing ... that is exactly what those people in those churches want!

On the other side of the coin let me say the folks I serve alongside, and the pastors I interact with, are for the most part absolute gems. Let me just give a small response to those same questions posed on the survey from my fellowships pastors, evangelists, helps, staffs, etc.

Bible is the inspired Word of God. 100% responded yes
Jesus is the Son of God. 100% responded yes
Physical Resurrection of Christ. 100% responded yes

Lest you think that is only a couple folks the current stats are that this represents the position of the leadership of 32,000 pastors, evangelists, specialty ministers, etc. They serve 13,000 US churches, over 3 million+ US church adherents, and over 66 million adherents world wide.

My point is that I know LOTS of pastors that are called, equipped, good hearted men of God. When you are attacking them, as has been done in this thread, you are in grave error .... seriously grave error.

If the place you are at and folks you are around are in those statistics from the 1982 survey then quit hanging around with those folks! However, also quit casting their results on folks it does not apply to!

Moses dealt with it, Timothy dealt with it, Paul dealt with it, I have dealt with it, many I counsel with have dealt with it .... look in the mirror and make sure you are no longer the reason that someone serving God has to waste their energies on a pointless attack against them when they are right before God. Make sure you are never the reason they have less time and energy to fulfill God's call to evangelize and disciple. Make sure you are not a reason some guy might throw in the towel and commit suicide. In fact go in and ask how you can serve, or do any of the ministries I listed above ... do that instead of biting, devouring, and continuing to sin with your mouth.

If you have never been at the front of actual spiritual leadership you also have no idea of the vast demonic crushing that can be sent against you. Words cannot describe the assault often unleashed if a ministry begins to take ground for the kingdom. If some of the critics of ministers had to absorb the exact same pressure those ministers do they would have taken their own lives long ago. I have no doubt.


 2013/12/16 10:30Profile









 Re:

I would like to concur with a point Soloman made. Any believing saint who desires to minister has ample opportunity. And you do not need the permission of the local church.

A few years ago I was introduced to conference call praying. About that time God put within my heart to start Persecution Watch. It was a matter of calling a conference call center and getting a number and access. Then letting people know. Eventually God brought the intercessors to pray. For the last 3 or so years we have been lifting up the persecuted church 3 nights a week. Presently we are in nightly watch through the month of December where we are lifting up the persecuted church and global harvest on a nightly basis.

In the providence of God, Persecution Watch in partnership with other ministries has hosted 3 national conference calls on the International Day of Prayer. Thus providing a 12 hour venue for saints to come and lift up prayer for the persecuted church.

To the best of my knowledge we are the only prayer call in the US and maybe Canada dedicated to praying for the Persecuted Church.

I share this to not boast or brag. But to illustrate Soloman's point anyone can do ministry who has a vision from God. Persecution Watch was birthed by God. It is overseen by the Holy Spirit not a church. I was not discouraged by any church as I was not attending a local church at the time. Though the devil sure brought discouragement. But even in that Christ was victorious.

I hope this testimony will encourage others who have a desire for ministry to do so. Our call is small compared to other calls that have large gatherings of people. But God is using Persecution Watch to pray over strategic parts of the globe and lift up the persecuted. Also to pray for the harvest out of those nations.

I tell our team that we may not see the immediate answers to our prayers this side of glory. But God be praised for those glory stories in heaven that await us.

To God be the Glory. Great tbings He has done.

Blaine Scogin

 2013/12/16 11:11









 Re:

I think Lysa, that people are helping and praying. The question from Greg, was "Why are they committing suicide?" and some of the posts are exploring that question and in their posts are answers but many don't want to hear of "stepping down", taking a sabbatical and reassessing their position.

Sree,

I find your statement incredulous and void of reality.

"There is no reason for a Christian, irrespective of Pastor or a common Church goer to be depressed."

Even Paul despaired of life. Jesus had much heaviness in the garden of Gethsemane.
2Co_1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

 2013/12/16 20:08









 Re:

Solomon, many pastors have no idea what they are getting into. They don't bring on very much themselves. They truly want to minister to people but what happens is that they become the object of Satan's fiery darts from the "congregation". This wreaks havoc with them, their marriage and their children. There is not end to the nastiness and evil that is hurled at them. We are saying that the religious system is somewhat setup for that type of thing because it is setup like a worldly, hierarchical corporation and because money is involved then the Pastor's position becomes a results oriented, be better than the church down the block type of thing. This is plain on all of our noses but not often on their noses.

The religious system sets men up for failure. There are over 20,000 church splits a year in America. I would say, that sounds like failure to me.

 2013/12/16 20:10
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1773


 Re:

Quote:

I find your statement incredulous and void of reality.

"There is no reason for a Christian, irrespective of Pastor or a common Church goer to be depressed."



How do you say it lacks reality? The man who has most sermons on this site says that he has never been discouraged even once in the past 35 years of his life. How was he able to overcome discouragement? He is not without problems, he is still being rejected and persecuted in many parts of the world like how Apostle Paul was. Here in India, people who were with him for many years have started speaking evil of him. But in midst of all this he is anxious for nothing.

Paul says in Philippians 4-6:-Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

If it is impossible for a Christian not to be anxious then why is this command given? Is Paul expecting unreal thing? These things are unreal to you and most Christians because the example you guys see in both in your life and others around you is shallow Christianity. Come to the rural villages in India where people lack basic needs for their life, still they have the joy and never go into depression. The problem with western Christianity is their provision is not from God (as they do not depend on him ) and that is why they get depressed for even small things.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 1 is talking about the Persecution he is facing in Asia. Where there is a threat to his life. He does not mean there is no hope for him to live like how you understood. Read the verse fully to understand what he is saying.

2 Cor 1:9 & 10- indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,

So clearly his hope was in God, he was not sitting hopeless and depressed like how you understood. If you had understood the context of what Paul is saying you will not have such shallow understanding of scripture. See how he is able to get comfort in verse 4 with which he comforts others even in the midst of such affliction.

Quote:

Jesus had much heaviness in the garden of Gethsemane.



Yes Jesus was burdened because he was going to be separated from Father for a Short while. A fellowship that was never separated from eternity was going to be separated. You and I will never go through this nor will we understand the depth of the pain of Jesus. But even in that situation Jesus said, 'the Peace I have I give to you'. He was not depressed even in that extreme situation.

To say that Jesus was depressed you only mean that he was a sinner. Which makes Christianity void.


_________________
Sreeram

 2013/12/16 23:48Profile









 Re: Soloman and Lysa

Thank you Lysa and Solomon101 for your inspiring posts!!! There are many responses here to brother Greg’s question, “why so many”. But unfortunately questions like these give us the opportunity to display our "enlightened knowledge" of all that is wrong with the church rather than stir up the compassion of Christ for others. I too am tempted to get on my soapbox (of which I have many) but what good is that? How will this help these hurting brothers – many of whom are serving the Lord diligently, the best way they know how? When I go off on my rants (and I do often) I am about as useful to these pastors as the guy who throws both ends of a rope to a drowning man:)

The bigger question is not what is the cause, (for those are endless)…but what are we doing about this problem as the members of the body of Christ? Are we just sitting on the sidelines criticizing these guys for all the things that they are doing wrong or for being in the wrong vocation or wrong system or structure? Is that all we are good for? That’s actually quite sad when you stop and think about it:(

Quote:
These pastors are still dying by their own hand while you guys debate the one shepherd system. It’s not helping anyone. This is what’s wrong with the church today, people are dying while others are debating.



This statement really highlights the wrong spirit that many of us may be carrying around with us. I believe that there is a lot of bitterness in those who have left the traditional church but few are willing to admit this. But if you get on your knees and bring this up with the Lord I guarantee it won’t be long before you will be weeping and repenting and come into a greater place of breakthrough than you have ever known. When we allow the Lord to heal our brokenness then we will be better equipped to speak into these situations and able to pray and respond with Christ’s love to those who are all messed up in their imperfect church structures.

Quote:
What are you going to do about it? Debate, lecture or actually be help in the spiritual realm and pray?



Lysa, you are truly a Deborah, it took a godly woman to show us all that rather than debate, they ought to be praying and fasting and encouraging these brothers in ministry…and yes that will mean that we all might have to swallow a whole lot of humble pie!

I really don’t think that there are too many of us here (who complain about the church) who are really, really praying for these pastors? Come on lets by honest brothers and sisters…let’s just be honest! There is so much disdain amongst us for the traditional church that I have a really hard time believing that prayer for church leaders is high on our list. If we were truly praying from our heart for them I am convinced that the Lord would have given us a deeper love for them and this would come through in the way we speak about and act towards pastors in the traditional church.

But we can fix that. We can change and we can start by doing something very simple like taking a day a week to pray and fast for a pastor in a local church near us and perhaps send a small thank you card and an encouraging note for his service in the Lords work. Let’s turn the tables on this thing and at the same time allow the Lord to heal us of any root of bitterness that might still be buried deep down, so deep that it cannot be seen.

Quote:
If you have never been at the front of actual spiritual leadership you also have no idea of the vast demonic crushing that can be sent against you. Words cannot describe the assault often unleashed if a ministry begins to take ground for the kingdom. If some of the critics of ministers had to absorb the exact same pressure those ministers do they would have taken their own lives long ago. I have no doubt.



I pastored a church a few years ago that was torn to pieces by a satanic attack. It left my wife and me in “spiritual intensive care” for years...so I know the reality of what you are saying Solomon. Satan is on the prowl seeking to destroy all believers but he saves his fiercest destruction for those who are on the front lines.

Anyway, thanks again Solomon101 and Lysa your words have convicted me and I believe that the Lord has used you both to stir some deep thing in me and only good will come of this…the Lord bless you both!

 2013/12/17 1:41
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1773


 Re:

Quote:

The fact of the matter is just because “we” here on sermonindex do not believe that a one pastor system is correct doesn’t help those who are “IN” a one pastor system and struggling.

Can you or I step out of our “belief” box to help another WITHOUT giving them a lecture on what is right or wrong with their system?

These pastors are still dying by their own hand while you guys debate the one shepherd system. It’s not helping anyone. This is what’s wrong with the church today, people are dying while others are debating.

What are you going to do about it? Debate, lecture or actually be help in the spiritual realm and pray?



It is not that no action is being taken. I am part of a Church were we used to held meeting (conferences) for pastors of other local churches that are not even related to us. Zac Poonen speaks to them, they get free food for attending. I am aware of a brother who quit his ministry and started all over again as an ordinary brother in our Church. Now he is financially struggling but living by his own sweat rather than making money by deceived teaching. Such was his radical conversion. He quit a ministry that was paying huge money for him to preach. But when he truly understood new Covenant teaching, he repented and started fresh. How many Pastors you know who are still struggling emotionally but are willing to make such radical change? Are they willing to support their family by tent making like how Paul supported himself?

I remember once Zac Poonen was invited to a big Church to speak. The pastors sat behind the pulpit as it was the tradition there. He was asked to address the crowd. Zac turned the mic towards the pastors who sat behind him and addressed them. He said God wants me to speak to you guys first. After one session they asked him to leave and continued the conference with an American preacher.


_________________
Sreeram

 2013/12/17 2:30Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Awakened said, "My point is that I know LOTS of pastors that are called, equipped, good hearted men of God. When you are attacking them, as has been done in this thread, you are in grave error .... seriously grave error."

Awakened, I can't speak for the others whose comments you have criticized, but I feel quite deeply misunderstood by you. I know a few pastors myself like those you describe above, and have a great respect for them, and love for them. They are doing the will of God the best way they know how.

But, Awakened, it is not "attacking them" to state that the problem of one-pastor leadership is a fundamental problem in "the Church." Speaking for myself, it is out of love for these men that I said what I said-- that the one-pastor system is simply not the order God established in the early churches. I made my comment in answer to the original question: why are so many pastors taking their own lives? Yes, these men need to be encouraged and strengthened. Yes, we must sympathize with them. But what about getting to the root of the problem so it can be STOPPED? Do we love these men that deeply? Yes, it would mean radical change. A spiritual revolution, in fact. But can't we see how deeply this is needed?

Perhaps you missed my earlier post. I mentioned a friend, who several years ago attended one of David Wilkerson's highly-esteemed pastors' conferences. They addressed many issues-- the burdens on pastors, the overwork, the stress that comes on their own families, pastor burnout, and many other problems. My friend said it was all very good, and many were helped. But, he added, they failed to even so much as touch on the problem that underlies all these others-- that it was not God's intention in the first place that His churches be led by one single ministry.

You are no doubt a Bible lover, brother. I challenge you to go to your Bible with an honest heart... and this question: Is the one-pastor system so prevalent in our churches God's order?


_________________
Allan Halton

 2013/12/17 23:25Profile





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