If you've never experienced discouragement in ministry, I have an inkling you've never been in ministry.

In a new roundtable video, Darrin Patrick, Paul Tripp, and Voddie Baucham explore reasons and remedies for pastoral discouragement. “I get most discouraged when I've had unmet, unrealistic expectations of myself or others,” Baucham observes. The hard-to-swallow truth in such moments is he's typically thinking too much of himself.

“If you're looking to ministry to give you identity, you're going down,” notes Tripp, author of Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry. Though glorious, ministry is “a messy war.” Patrick adds, “Even though we know in general that ministry is hard and warfare is real, we don't always know why it's hard.” It's crucial, then, to ask, What's the discouragement beneath the discouragement here?

Receiving ministry as a pastor is just as important as giving it, Baucham contends. Or, as one of my favorite preachers, Tommy Nelson, puts it: “If your output exceeds your input, your upkeep will become your downfall.”

Watch the full six-minute video to see these ministers discuss isolation, broken trust, pastors as body parts, and more.

Discouragement in Ministry from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.