Why Do Some People Leave the Ministry? Greg Laurie on Character

Pastor Greg Laurie – author, evangelist, and public speaker – talks about how character plays an important part of continuing in ministry for the long haul and finishing the race well.

POSTED ON November 29, 2013
  • 2TrakMind

    I like Greg Laurie, but when I read the title of the video, I knew immediately what his focus would be on; personal performance. Paul warned the Galatians about trying to “perfect themselves” through self effort, but Greg, unlike Paul, actually encourages people to focus on personal performance, rather than trusting Christ to lead them in everything. Ministry isn’t about avoiding moral failure, or burnout, it’s about learning to live completely led by Christ, and helping others learn to do the same. Paul wasn’t saying that he had worked his butt off to maintain the appearance of holiness and avoiding moral failure; he was speaking about successfully living a life of faith in Christ, and learning to depend completely on Him and rest completely in Him. That is the real key to a long life of ministry. It’s when a person takes the weight of ministry onto themselves that they experience moral failure, or burnout.

    • Ken

      Well said. Not much to add except what would serve my ego. Your post was succinct but gets right to the point. Thank you.

  • mitchandre

    One thing bothers me, and I hear it a lot. It actually, I think, places undue pressure and later guilt on pastors who transition out of “ministry” ; and that is the notion that to leave ministry is to leave something elite. The stats of people who leave “ministry” usually implies they leave “professional” church work but does not indicate the large number, (I hope at least) of those who leave “ministry” but are still effective, even some more effective, in some other kind of occupation. I know some who have left church work and are extremely effective where they are.

    I heard a pastor say while praying to a group of students leaving for a conference, “who knows maybe some will be called to ministry.” I am hoping what he meant was that they would be called to a lifestyle of serving and worshipping Jesus wherever they are, but I suspect what he meant was, “who knows, some might be called by God to become a pastor – just like me”. It leaves the students who don’t pursue professional church work feeling that they fall short of God’s ideal.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts on this video. I love your thoughts on this: “(I hope at least) of those who leave “ministry” but are still effective, even some more effective, in some other kind of occupation.”

      There needs to create a level of effectiveness in our lives, regardless if we’re in full-time ministry or working outside the church. Thanks again for your comment.

    • great points. When I left the pastorate my real ministry started. I have a lot more contact with people who are lost and in need now as a counselor in a mental health agency than I ever did as a pastor. Ministry should not just be seen as something I do within the church walls. Rather, it should be the exception when I am working with the walls and not in the community.

Bo Lane is the founder of ExPastors, a community that strives to offer help, healing, and hope for expastors, pastors, and church leaders, and author of Why Pastors Quit. As a media professional with more than 15 years of experience, he has developed marketing and brand strategies that have revolutionized churches and businesses, both large and small. Bo left full-time ministry after serving more than a decade in churches in Oregon, California, and Iowa. He is also a writer, filmmaker, woodworker, husband and father.