Via Tim Keller (Counterfeit Gods):
“Another form of idolatry within religious communities turns spiritual gifts and ministry success into a counterfeit god. Spiritual gifts (talent, ability, performance, growth) are often mistaken for what the Bible calls spiritual “fruit” (love, joy, patience, humility, courage, gentleness). Even ministers who believe with the mind that “I am only saved by grace” can come to feel in their heart that their standing with God depends largely on how many lives they are changing.”
When the ministry is pressed in to a form that does not value relationship and “thriving in the ordinary” but instead is forced to value success, ministry optimization, and visible productivity, it is no wonder that pastors find themselves crushed under a weight of expectation that they are powerless to fulfill.
Many times, pastors are weary not because they are thriving in doing good, but because they are disillusioned in the wake of their own frailty and weakness. Problematically, elders and church members alike do not see this as a problem to be addressed, but rather as a damning weakness that should be rooted out of the pulpit in favor of a man with “vision”.
We have embraced a culture that thrives on destroying the weak, and pushing men in to corners where they must feign strength lest they be found out as imposters and given their swan song from the parishes they serve.