It’s interesting how pastors are either villainized or canonized. If you’re a pastor, you’re either a child of God or the devil’s spawn, but never a real person.
I know better. I grew up in a pastor’s home and I became one myself. I know that all ministers are people. Granted, some of them are selfish prima donnas. Some do notable work with huge churches (and sometimes they’re the same prima donnas).
But most ministers are nice people who work too hard but never feel like they’ve done enough and they never feel that they succeed. They live in the public eye but they’re the loneliest people on the planet. They speak of truth but they harbor many secrets. They can’t trust anyone. People in the congregation may try to be supportive but they rarely know how. And there’s always a few who feel that it’s their duty to attack ministers (and their families). Consequently, pastors suffer greatly, and their families suffer with them, also in secret.
When I left the church I promised myself I would not desert my colleagues and their families. I am the person who can hear, understand, and advise pastors. I may not agree with their beliefs but that’s not the point. These people are wounded healers who often need the support of a fellow human. And I’m going to be someone who offers it to them.
Photo of David Mercer by Jennifer Finley