This week on Real Talk with Rachael, I’m chatting with author Michael MacKenzie about his book, Don’t Blow Up Your Ministry: Defuse the Underlying Issues that Take Pastors Down. Dr. Michael MacKenzie is the executive director of Marble Retreat, an intensive counseling center for Christian leaders, and he is the supervisor of the Doctorate of Ministry Pastor Care track at Lincoln Christian University. A licensed professional counselor for 26 years specializing in caring for pastors, he has also been a chaplain and is an ordained pastor. He is an author, speaker, and teacher on ministry and counseling issues.
Key Points from Our Conversation:
- People that work in ministry choose to do so to serve others, but often that can lead them to performance-based stress.
- Ministry is stressful and Satan is cunning, so it’s important to be aware of our own brokenness. When we begin to say yes out of guilt and fear, we are no longer motivated by love and freedom.
- Fear of man seeps in when we’re seeking love, value, and respect from others. It’s a process to get the truth of God fully into our hearts, souls, and minds.
- We are all works in progress, so have grace. Being aware of our wounds helps us respond with a different reaction.
- Most people in ministry are so focused on others, they don’t inspect themselves and ask what’s going on and why. What is my brokenness that’s causing these situations?
- People in ministry can use hard work as a means to outwork their insecurities. We need to be aware of our motivations – when are we doing it for God and when does it become about ourselves?
- If you have trouble resting, ask what the fear is that’s driving you on a deeper level.
- The most common problems for ministry leaders are isolation, unrealistic expectations, and poor boundaries.
- If you want to attack your root issues, pay attention and ask for God to reveal what you’re missing and journey in relationship with others who can speak into your life.
- We can help care for church leaders by managing our expectations of them. Is there someone else who could assist me with my issue?
Let’s Get Real Practical:
Is my life pace sustainable?
If not, what needs to change?
How am I really doing? How is my heart?