SIDEBAR: How to Conquer a Culture of Can't

by Michael Clarensau

Truth is, pastors locked in a “culture of can’t” will either blame themselves or blame their congregation. Many will quit or create an unhealthy environment that new people will flee.

What steps can you take? Elijah’s journey back to emotional health offers a helpful path to recovery (1 Kings 19).

1. Eat healthy and get some rest (verse 6). Depression often impacts sleep and healthy eating habits. You are not invincible. Take care of your body and you will give your thoughts a greater chance to get healthy.

2. Get alone with God (verses 11–13) Elijah needed to revisit God’s greatness and see that He was bigger than the current threat. Often a frustrated pastor needs that same vision. Elijah’s self-pitying complaint ultimately melts in the renewal of God’s call on his or her life.

3. Go back the way you came (verse 15). Elijah had to repent of his running to get back on track. He walked back through the places he had run in frustration. Pastors must revisit things they have said or relationships they may have damaged in their frustration, and bring their newfound strength to each situation.

4. Get back to work (verses 16,17). Like Elijah, God will give the renewed pastor a clear sense of assignment forward. At this stage of recovery, the pastor will see his work through new eyes and find value in places where his frustration once blocked his view.

MICHAEL CLARENSAU, Springfield, Missouri