Eight Very Difficult Ministry Situations For Pastors

What are some of the most difficult situations you have had in pastoral ministry? These eight were the most mentioned answers.

Confronting a church member. “She was bitter and gossiped all the time. No one else had the courage to confront her, so I had to do the dirty work. It was not a pretty situation, and I’m still suffering from the confrontation today.”

In a recent post, I shared the results of an informal Twitter poll that pointed out the greatest sources of discouragement of pastors and staff. In this post, I share the challenges of difficult ministry situations. Specifically I asked: “What are some of the most difficult situations you have had in pastoral ministry?”

This time, I am simply reporting anecdotal information in my conversations with pastors. Eight consistent themes have arisen.

  1. Moral failure of a church staff member.
  2. Funeral of a child or teenager.
  3. Declining financial situation in the church.
  4. Dismissing a friend on church staff.
  5. Funeral of an unbeliever.
  6. Confronting a church member.
  7. Moral failure of a key lay leader.
  8. Bringing order to a contentious church business meeting.

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