Over the 25 years that I’ve been a consultant and coach, I’ve noticed that one of the hardest actions facing a pastor is taking a dream and turning it into reality. Most pastors enter ministry dreaming about making a difference in people’s lives or changing the world or simply being part of a thriving church. The reality is that most pastors find that a dream is one thing while making it happen is another. Many pastors are faced with trying to lead a dying congregation that is filled with contented people who are not willing to make the necessary changes for them and/or the church to grow. The pastor’s dream is faced with enormous pushback from the church leaders and from society itself.
I remember how naïve I was when I was a pastor. I thought all I had to do was preach the gospel and my dream would come true. But it wasn’t that simple. I needed help along the way. I remember having to bring in Lyle Shaller once to confirm with the congregation the direction we were going. Another time I had to enlist the services of Ken Callahan in convincing the church to purchase some expensive property.
I was confronted with the same naiveté when I started consulting. Most of the pastors I worked with in the early years had dreams of building a great church only to fall victim to stubborn forces. What blew me away is that they had to do the same thing I had to do now and then – bring in someone who could affirm for the congregation what they had been saying all along.
Turning dreams into reality is tough sledding. It takes everything a pastor has in their arsenal to make it happen.
Question: What do you believe is the biggest roadblock to pastors’ dreams becoming reality? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.