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Sometimes I Wish You Knew

I define myself with clear priorities. I am first and foremost a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, a born again child of God. I’m also a husband to an awesome wife, and a Dad to a wonderful daughter. Then I’m a Pastor to a great church. Sometimes I’m also a web and graphic designer. I love all of these realms of life and appreciate the people I’ve come to know in each.

As a Pastor, and I’m sure other church leaders will identify with what I’m about to write, I can say that there is tremendous pressure that few people realize. I don’t talk about it much but felt the need to clear my heart this morning. I hope you’ll appreciate the transparency here.

A congregation of a couple hundred people wait for me to speak each week. Right now, I’m speaking five times per week: two Sunday morning services, an evening service, a Tuesday morning Men’s Bible study, and Wednesday nights. I try not to acknowledge it much, but there is the pressure to be thoroughly studied and prepared to deliver a message with excellence and passion every time up. This is how it should be.

Families count on me to provide counsel. I have couples whose marriages I can’t seem to fix, people in financial need I can’t always provide for, and people dealing with huge questions and struggles for which I can’t always come up with an answer. I love them all and on a week with an intense amount of needs (like this one), I feel emotionally drained and exhausted. This is how it should be. No complaints.

A staff and organization waits on me for vision, direction, and leadership. Multiple ministry leaders need my input about spending money, starting projects, placing volunteers, and taking care of business in general. Tension in relationships is brought to me. I’m the leader, and I gladly accept it all. I love it. It’s how it should be.

All of these folks are not only looking for teaching, wisdom, leadership, and counsel, but for me to live my life as a godly example, walking with Christ. I must keep my walk and my mind clean. I must be prayed up and Spirit-filled. My message on Sunday needs to be the incarnation of my life throughout the week. And yes, this is exactly how it should be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But sometimes I want you to know that I’m weak. Sometimes I want you to know I cry at the end of a counseling session when I couldn’t fix a problem. Sometimes I want you to know I get to Saturday night and think of all the people I didn’t get to, that needed serving. I want you to know that sometimes I go home and think I did a pitiful job of presenting the Word. I want you to know I don’t feel capable or adequate sometimes.

Sometimes I just want you to know I’m not always the super-confident and ultra-positive guy I am when my task is to inspire others. I want you to know that while I’m hoping to help everyone else with the issues of their life, I still long for another child God hasn’t chosen to bless us with yet… I’m patiently waiting on God, but it hurts sometimes.

Sometimes I really need somebody to know just how weak I am so that the pressure will be off. And I think thousands of other ministry leaders are probably dying on the inside to say the same thing.

But here’s what I want you to know, even more than how weak I am – it’s just how strong God is. Paul did battle with some infirmity, either physical or spiritual, and begged God to just take it away. God’s answer was “no” on at least three different occasions. What did Paul learn from God’s denial?

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV

When I am weak, God shines. When I am weak, I’m finally available to bring glory to God instead of myself. When I am weak, others see themselves and what God can do in, around, and through a weakling like me. This is definitely how it should be. It’s my calling, and I gladly and humbly accept it.

God has chosen to take “earthen vessels” (okay, cracked pots) and the “base things” of the world to absolutely confound the mighty and to carry His perfect and powerful message. He’s not looking for superstars, but for weaklings… like me.

I’m not complaining. In fact, I haven’t really been through much compared to the apostles and martyrs of history, and especially in comparison with Jesus’ suffering, so I gladly accept this calling and responsibility. I gladly take the pressure for the kingdom’s sake. I just wanted you to know how I feel sometimes, and how much I praise and appreciate God’s strength and power to see me through.

I wonder, do you ever feel weak like me? I can tell you all about the One who makes the difference.

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  • http://www.samuelmateo.com Samuel Mateo, Jr.

    Being a Pastor's Son I know exactly what you are talking about. As they say I've been there, done that. I also have a Pastoral calling and someday I will fulfill that call. All I can do is prepare and for that pray for His guidance. Thanks for the wise words pastor.

    Samuel Mateo, Jr.’s last blog post..Josiah Turns 1 Today! What a year!

  • http://rockbeatspaper.net John Peele

    Brandon, thank you for the transparency and the courage to share. And I don't use those words flippantly or because I think they are the "right" thing to say.

    Being in close relationship with my pastor, I have been able to catch a glimpse of the man he is, not just the role of pastor that he has been called to. Those moments, however rare, have enabled me to realize that we really are all God's children. Some He has called to more visible roles, while others He has called to support the tired, praying, worshipping, declaring arms of those most visible. But in the end, our Father is very fond of us all. And, as all children do, we get tired and lose focus sometime, but as a father myself, it is those times when I pick my children up from where they are and put them in my big comfy bed to rest. And I know that when I do that, they rest like they never have before, secure and content.

    I pray rest and peace to cover you today and always. I appreciate following you on twitter, for your ability to mix design and divine. Might I suggest grabbing a copy of TD Jake's message to a leadership conference entitled Commanding The Officers. Jethro gave good counsel to Moses and a great burden was lifted from his shoulders.

    John Peele’s last blog post..RBP Gives Social Media Presentation

    • Brandon

      By the way John, I love this phrase… "ability to mix design and divine." Gonna have to use that sometime! Thanks!

  • Danny Kirk, Pastor

    Brandon,

    I cannot completely identify with you for my schedule is not as full or as busy, yet I do know the feelings of inadequacies for the tasks before me. Thanks for reminding me of God's sufficiency. This is my prayer for you:

    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

    2 Cor 9:8 (NKJV)

  • Brandon

    I'm overwhelmed at the encouraging responses – thanks so much to all of you!!

  • http://seizeyourcheese.com Craig Allen

    Thanks for the honesty. I think we too easily tend to want to believe our pastors should be “super Christians” who have all the answers and everything figured out. What we really need is a leader who is humble enough to admit their mistakes and set the example of a person fully dependent on God for everything.

  • http://www.tomfellows.com Tom Fellows

    Brother, I appreciate what you've written in this blog entry. It sums up so much of what we as preachers/pastors experience that the average person never sees. Not that we are out there begging for them to see it, but like you said sometimes we just want them to know these things.

    It has oft been said that were God guides, He provides. This is so true. Sometimes He guides us into what seems to be the insurmountable, and it is — without us being utterly weakened and Him being ultimately glorified.

    Keep up the great work, Brandon. I've grown fond of your writing, your passion, your ministry philosophy and your love of our Lord.

    Tom Fellows’s last blog post..Just A Note On My Blogging Madness

  • http://navigateyourmarketing.com/blog David (Marketing Int

    My prayer for you Brandon:

    "Father, we are all weak, thank you that you are strong. Please affirm your strength and calling on Brandon's life and minsitry. You are using him in many exciting ways as a pastor, leader, encourager, and friend. When he feels weak pour your love on him so he is overwhelmed with the wonder and awe of who you are. Keep him strong so he can keep ministering to others and to me. Bring alongside encouragers for him on the days he needs it most. I place him in your care. Amen"

    David (Marketing Integrity)’s last blog post..Church Marketing: Specificity, Selectivity, Exclusivity

  • tori

    Hi Brandon,

    We’re all just people searching to be important in some way to feel wanted and accepted. I myself am always searching for the right things to say and to act and I'm just a student of christ, I appreciate the pastor I have and the many pastors I've had before him. We’re all wanting to do better for God. I'm constantly in a battle with myself and letting Satan get the best of me but I haven't given up, Jesus continues to love and give us will to go on. It's not easy to say the least but by his grace we have a purpose to spread his word and shine his love on others. Keep up the good and faithful work you are doing, God richly blesses those who believe. I've come to realize that with many a struggle but he is so good and will see us through.

    God Bless.

    • Brandon

      Tori, thanks so much for the encouragement! Keep up the good fight!

  • TKC

    Brought tears to my eyes