Eight Reasons Many Pastors Lack Confidence

Many pastors and church staff are lacking confidence to do their ministry.

They have many “bosses.” Regardless of church polity, many church members think the pastor and church staff work for them. It takes unique leadership skills to deal with this reality.
They did not ask the right questions on the front end. Before they accepted the position, many pastors and staff did not have any idea about the realities of the church they now serve. They thus feel ill equipped to lead in their context.


I am confident because of who I am in Christ. But if someone expected me to perform open-heart surgery tomorrow, I wouldn’t be confident . . . even if I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the previous night. I would be totally lacking in confidence because I would not be equipped to handle the task before me. Indeed, I would be scared to death.

Many pastors and church staff are lacking confidence to do their ministry. While seminaries and Bible colleges do an excellent job in preparing many of them for some of the most important facets of pastoral ministry, too many pastors are still ill equipped to do the daily functions of their work.

As we have spoken with hundreds, if not thousands, of pastors and church staff, we have found specific reasons why many of these leaders are lacking in confidence, and are even fearful to carry out their responsibilities. Here are eight of the most common reasons.

  1. They are not trained in many of the business-related tasks of leading a church. Some don’t understand church financial statements. Others struggle to lead a church in a building program. Some don’t know how to lead a meeting. While church members should certainly fill these voids, pastors and church staff still need a basic knowledge of these areas.
  2. They are not trained or equipped to lead. How much of leadership is natural ability and how much is learned? While no one has conclusively answered this question, we can say that most of us can become better leaders with training. But many of our pastors and church staff have no formal leadership training. A smaller church may have a budget of $150,000, but the pastor has no organizational leadership skills. Can you imagine being tasked to lead a $150,000 small business with no skills to do so?
  3. They do not know what to do when the church hits a barrier. Leaders of churches will always hit barriers in attendance, stewardship, leadership development and others. But too many church leaders do not understand some of the basic approaches to overcoming barriers.

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