The Challenges of Ministering: Frank Viola on What Obstacles Ministers Face
We can learn a lot from the experiences and wisdom of well-seasoned ministers. Frank Viola is one of these individuals, and his new book, “48 Laws of Spiritual Power”, brings together his years of exploration and insight into spiritual living. In a unique conversation with Greg Davis, Frank discusses the many challenges pastors and ministers face as they shepherd the flock.
The Common Traps of Ministry
Frank believes many of the traps pastors and ministers encounter are shared among others in the same role. One of these is the trap of taking the Church’s mission too seriously. He explains, “When we fall into this trap, we tend to become what I call “Big Hammers.” We lay the law down and say “it’s my way or the highway.” This approach makes us sticklers for the rules and regulations rather than practicing the heart of the gospel.”
Another common trap Frank identifies is neglecting to nourish a personal and intimate relationship with God. He says, “Many of us allow pressure from our work to come first before we engage with God. But without that connection, a pastor’s spiritual core can be greatly weakened, leaving them frustrated and ineffective.”
The Need for Balance
Frank emphasizes the need for balance in ministry. He states, “We need to remember every day that we’re both a minister and a person, with our own issues and struggles. We can’t push ourselves beyond our limits, or else we’ll burn out. Prioritizing our rest and relationships is essential to long-term success in ministry.”
Frank acknowledges the importance of having a support system in place. He notes the loneliness that comes with the role and provides a remedy by declaring, “It is essential to have other believers to lean on, who can come alongside to lift you, provide counsel, and affirm you when you’re feeling low.”
Frank offers powerful insight for every minister out there. Spiritual leaders can maintain a healthy perspective by recognizing and avoiding the common traps of ministry and nurturing relationships with God, people, and peers. By establishing a support system, ministers can stay connected, be encouraged, and keep their perspective rooted in a deeper understanding of the gospel.