Tips for Pastors to Overcome Temptations

A picture shows a pastor reading the Bible.
A picture shows a pastor reading the Bible. (photo:
By Steve Sun April 27th, 2023

"The pastorship should be recognized as a social profession, but Chinese pastors are a minority group who often work in isolation," said a pastor who has served the church in North China all year round. 

Recently, Rev. Wang Yiyan shared about his temptations and difficulties in ministry with the Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper.

"The pastor should have two roles, as they both live in society and the church. It is better for them to have income skills outside the church. Work experience in society is a kind of protection and blessing on the path of ministry, as more people will respect it. Many people will ask them about their ministry experience when the church develops. Pastors will be appreciated if they don’t just receive salaries in the church. Having a social identity helps minimize misunderstandings. For example, if you are a doctor, you can also help believers with advice on physical health. For young believers, it is better for them to study another major first, and then theology."

"If people in the church praise pastors every day, it may lead to a moral and spiritual decline. Therefore, they need to have their own pastor and mentor, and they need to cleanse the soul temple to avoid the temptation related to reputation."

"The pastor needs to learn, be nurtured, and communicate regularly. Who will provide the opportunity? As a pastor, he is not only a servant of God but also a sinner. In the communion service, the pastor also takes communion. If the pastor realizes it, he can stand. When the pastor has a clear understanding of his identity, he can overcome all kinds of temptations, whether they are physical, emotional, or related to reputation. It is a danger and harm to the ministry if pastors elevate themselves too high or belittle themselves too low due to misunderstanding their identity and role."

"On the other hand, the church should provide the pastor with adequate resources and emotional support. The wife of the pastor can be respected, and God will be glorified. The pastor should live a life that is not much worse than ordinary people's. Otherwise, they will be embarrassed in front of their classmates and fellow villagers. Pastors in urban churches face more temptations than those in rural churches. But as pastors overcome challenges, God bestows greater blessings. Believers in rural churches live a relatively simple life with less material pressure and competition. When urban and rural pastors were to switch identities to experience each other’s pastoral lives for a period of time, they could significantly grow," concluded Pastor Wang.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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