You’re better when you’re together.
It’s cliche to say that you need community, but it remains to be true. Ministry is one of the most stressful, difficult, and isolating areas of work that exists. It’s also one of, if not the most, rewarding of all areas of work. You have lots of good days and you have lots of bad days.
There’s a reason why many burnout, leave the ministry, and never return. Being in any role of leadership opens up the door for allowing yourself to become isolated. You can be around people all the time, yet feel completely isolated. That’s a problem.
There’s a difference between being around people and truly being in community with people. As a pastor, you absolutely need community. You’re not the exception to the rule, you’re actually in need of community just as much (probably more) as everyone else in this world. You need people around you who will speak into your life. You need people around you who are not impressed with you. You need people around you who you can be real with. Really real.
5 Reasons Why You Need Community
1. You’re no different from anyone else.
It’s likely that you preach community. It’s likely that you believe wholeheartedly that we all need community, yet you find yourself without true community. You’re not different from anyone else in the fact that you also need community. It’s easy to have false community as a leader and you have to fight that. You have to be intentional at finding community in the midst of being a leader.
2. You have a lot of burdens to bear.
People bring their hurts, troubles, struggles, and secrets to you on a consistent basis. It creates a lot of weight on your shoulders. It can be a heavy load to bear alone. If you try to carry the load on your own, you’ll end up burning out. You can’t carry it on your own. You need others around you who will bear your burdens. As the Church, we’re called to bear one another’s burdens, but often times the leaders of a church don’t have anyone bearing their burdens.
I get it. You want to protect your flock. You probably do need a community outside of your local congregation. In fact, it would be good to have community in the context of other pastors because they get what you’re going through. They get the struggles. They get that you are constantly bearing other’s burdens.
3. You need to grow.
You’ve seen people in your congregation grow as a result of being in an intentional community of believers who are pointing them to Jesus. The same can and should happen with you. You need to be continually growing and the way you do that is by being in community with others. Being in a community with other pastors will allow you to be stretched in your thinking, your strategy, your self-care, your family life, and more. You need accountability just as much as the person sitting in the pew or chair on Sunday morning.
4. You need different perspectives.
If you’re limited to your own perspective, you’ll put a lid on your own leadership ability as well as your church’s ability to fulfill its mission. If your context is suburban, medium-sized church, you need the perspective of the pastor of an urban, small-sized church. You need the perspective of rural church pastors. You need the perspective of mega church pastors.
Collaboration > Isolation
When you fail to be in community, you are limiting your own leadership capacity and ability as well as your church’s ability to fulfill its mission.
5. You need encouragement.
You know ministry is difficult. You know how great it is to receive an encouraging message when you’re discouraged. We all need to be encouraged. We all need people speaking into our circumstances because we are limited to seeing the ground floor when they can take a step back and see the whole picture.
When you are discouraged, you need to receive encouragement and one of the best places to receive that is inside the context of community.
A Community to Join
You absolutely need community.
It’s best to have face to face community with others and we definitely encourage you to intentionally seek that out.
We also know that it’s good to be in community with people you may not be able to meet face to face with. It’s for this reason that we started the private Preaching and Leadership Facebook Group.
It’s a community where you can share best-practices related to leading the Church and preaching God’s word. You can post sermons for feedback, share leadership issues for discussion, and share what God is doing in your church.
We wholeheartedly believe that if pastors get better at being in community with one another, the churches that we represent will become healthier and more effective.
Healthy leaders are catalysts for healthy churches and healthy leaders don’t neglect their need for community.
Join this growing community today.