When Leading in the Church Gets Tough

Let’s face it we have all been there: the thoughts of doubt, writing out the resignation letter, wondering why it seems everyone is against you. We think shouldn’t leading God’s church be easy? But instead you get opposition to every  change, every new idea, even personally with every personality quirk.


I just want to be an encouragement for you those of you going through this right now. We know that leading and preaching in God’s church is a tough challenge, a tall task, but infinitely rewarding!

Here’s what you can do when leading in the Church gets tough:


How many times do we feel down and the first thing we do is lash out, or run off and complain, or even quit and the last thing we do is talk to God about it.

Slow Down

This goes along with number one as well. But, sometimes we just need to slow down. We see opposition and challenges at every turn, yet we do not stop and reflect and think about what is behind the opposition and challenges. Slowing down when leading in the church gets tough is so important to restoration!

Remember the People

This might seem cliche but those people are challenging and opposing and even hurting you are God’s people as well. I see it advocated so many times to just get  rid  or try to get rid of problem people but this is not always the best way. Invest in this people and at the least remember that God loves them just as much as those who are behind you 100%.

Find some Time  Off To Recharge

This can be very important as you face a barrage of opposition and challenges to your ministry. Try to take a solid couple weeks off at least at these low points to recharge and rejuvenate your body and soul. If you cannot get a real sabbatical at least find time to take a legitimate vacation.

Remember Why You Lead in the First Place

To sit down and remember this point is so important. Sometimes we can get so lost and so frustrated we forgot why we are leading God’s people in the first place. I hope your first motivation to lead was to lead people to Jesus and disciple those who already follow Jesus. Remember that fundamental purpose!

Seek out Encouragement and Guidance from the Wise

There are people in your life and around you who have experienced the same challenges or very similar challenges in their life and ministry. Seek out the counsel and the advice of these people. Whether it is a mentor of yours, a retired minister in the area, another pastor you can trust or someone else this is a very important thing to do to receive encouragement and guidance when leading in the church gets tough.


Leading in the church can get  very tough. It can get hard and be full of overwhelming people and challenges. Sometimes, yes, you will have to make the decision to leave an unfulfilled ministry. But I also encourage you to slow down, take a few steps back, and evaluate the situation. Go through these above practices and see if you can achieve further clarity and guidance in the situation.

I hope this can be an encouragement for many of you out there who are finding it hard to lead in the church, similar advice has been very helpful to me!

What do you do when leading gets difficult? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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