How Do I Fight Discouragement As a Pastor, When I’m Not Seeing Results?

Question: Lately, I’ve been feeling like it would be better if I left my church in someone else’s hands. I feel called, but we haven’t grown in a long time, and I think maybe someone else could do a better job. What do you think I should do?

Well, the first part is easy for me to answer. If you know you’re called, NEVER give up. Remember that one day, you’ll stand before God, and you’ll want to know that you did everything He asked you to do.

Discouragement is a part of any significant journey. Walking God’s path doesn’t mean an easy road. There will certainly be those moments of satisfaction, when you feel you’re making a difference. But there will also be moments of questioning, where you ask, “What am I even doing?”

During the down times, remember: healthy growth is usually slow growth. Don’t compare yourself to others; be confident that growing at a steady pace is more important than being the “next big thing.”

Secondly, recognize that your church’s growth isn’t the only growth to focus on. God always has a much harder time growing us than He does our churches. When we grow, our churches just seem to follow suit. 

That’s why I place a heavy importance on my personal development time every week. During these times, I’m learning from those who have gone ahead of me and who have solved problems I haven’t solved- or maybe even faced- yet. I’ve found that when I learn what they’ve learned, I can live where they live.

Sure, it’s work to identify the blockages that are keeping our churches from God’s best, and then it’s work to find the right resources to get beyond those barriers. But wise pastors always make time for prayer and for learning those things that would cause his church to live at the next level.

So, I would encourage you to first of all, trust the process. Be okay with steady growth. Secondly, find people who are at the place you know you want to reach. Seek out resources from them, or schedule an on-site at their church. People often think they don’t have the money for these types of things, but honestly the money is worth it if it helps you find answers and stay excited about God’s dream for you and your church.

I truly believe that if you do these two things, your perspective will begin to change. You’ll jump-start your faith… And I’m not talking about simple, feel-good faith. I’m talking about one that stands the test of time and helps you remain at your post no matter what.

So keep going, friend! I’m proud of you, and I know that Jesus is too. We at Significant Church are always here cheering you on.

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9