(MINISTRY AND COVID-19 THREAD) In 21yrs+ of pastoral ministry I have never spoken to so many weary colleagues. This isn’t the normal tiredness arising from the rigours of ministry life, but is genuinely concerning spiritual fatigue. (1of10)
Covid-19 has presented a perpetual front line, and has demanded lots of snap decisions without the benefit of long term strategic planning. It is also a war of attrition, a long stand off, a grinding battle against a continually morphing set of circumstances. (2of10)
Ministry workers have not had firebreaks they normally enjoy. Even things like extensive pastoral visitation, hospital visits, fraternal gatherings, have been absent or greatly restricted. Believe it or not these provide fellowship and relief in the work. Rest does too. (3of10)
There has been perpetual decision making as well as long term uncertainty. The ratcheting up of inter-church comparison/transition has rubbled much of the progress of a decade or more. Many pastors still don’t know what shape they or their church will be in post-pandemic. (4of10)
Colleagues across the UK whom I regard as robust and seasoned servants of Christ are wrestling and struggling, and young pastors are perhaps questioning their whole future in ministry. Long after the pandemic, the effects of this will be felt. (5of10)
I hesitate to call this a crisis, but it feels close to it. I’m not sharing this as a cry for help - I am in good fettle personally, and wouldn’t post about this if I wasn’t. But I’m burdened for friends whom I esteem in contexts outside of my own. (6of10)
What can be done? Please pray for your pastors and elders. Examine what the ratio is between you discussing their approach and praying for their souls. There might be room for repentance and a rededication to upholding those with pastoral responsibility. (7of10)
Remind yourself of why you committed to your local church. If this is a bumpy period consider your covenant and vows, settle yourself to ride this storm out, even if you don’t agree with everything that is happening. Tell your pastors and elders that you’re doing this. (8of10)
If you’re close to your pastor/elders ask them how they are. Minister to them. If you’re not, find someone who is, and ask them to do this. Find areas where you can be affirmative and supportive, perhaps read a book like this one: thegoodbook.co.uk/the-book-your-… (9of10)
Some things are certain. Your pastor and elders are ordinary people. Many have broken hearts. Many are wrestling with personal and family issues of their own. They can feel helpless, commodified, and marginalised. They are breakable. They need prayer. They need you. (10of10)

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More from @AndrewTRoycroft

Jan 13
🧵 I’m seeing a fair bit of chatter on social media about John MacArthur’s call to pastors to preach on sexuality this coming Sunday, because of law changes in Canada.

I’m deeply uneasy about this for quite a few reasons that I’ll try to set our below.
1. It is sin-selective: the church and our society are riddled with multiple issues of sin and declension. I have absolutely no doubt that time must be given to sexual ethics - I’ve done so in public teaching over and over again - but to single this out seems ill advised.
2. It is evangelistically tone-deaf: the world already assumes that the chief end of Christianity is to talk negatively about sex. Many presume an unhealthy fixation with it. We are not known as gospel people, and our core message remains largely unheard. This reinforces that.
Read 9 tweets
Dec 15, 2021
[SHORT THREAD on encouraging pastors/elders]
2Chronicles 17 charts the rise of Jehoshaphat's kingdom. He inherited a dreadful legacy from his father - a nation where leadership was in crisis, and where the spiritual temperature of the people was tepid at best. Here's what he did:
1. He sought the God of his father (v4): lesser fixes were aplenty, but Jehoshaphat's first recourse was to seeking the Lord. That greatly challenges me: do I seek palliation of circumstances before intercession before my God? Am I looking for remedies or looking to him?
2. He found courage in the ways of the Lord (v6): a man who is in spiritual retreat in his personal life will not know spiritual advance in public ministry. So much of my timidity can spring from a lack of confidence in God, which can be traced back to a lack of confiding in God.
Read 6 tweets

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