Phil ~ Though your book is glaringly honest about
weakness and even failure, it is really about spiritual
development. At the end of each chapter you challenge the
reader with self-examination questions they can use to
journal, discuss in a small group, or even as a devotional,
plus a faith-filled confession and a power prayer. How can
these tools benefit pastors struggling with insignificance?
Mark ~ The questions cause us to reflect on the principle with God in prayer, ourselves, and even others in certain settings. Discussing these chapters with fellow pastors helps us to realize we are not alone but even my peers who I respect struggling with feelings of insignificance. Our significance is found in Christ not in our self, success, or how people perceive us on the outside.
Phil ~ Agree or disagree: Every pastor needs to develop a through-the-day conversation with Jesus and should seek out the fellowship of a pastors' prayer group as an antidote to being sidelined by discouragement.
Mark ~ AGREE! We must practice the active 24/7 presence of God throughout our day. Thatís what relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit in us is all about. God never meant us to go it alone. Jesus had a fellowship of 12, an inner circle of 3, and even a best friend. We need to be regularly involved in open, transparent, authentic, below the surface, face-to-face relationships with our pastoral peers. We need empathetic encouragers, teammates, and cheerleaders in our lives. It can be difficult and even risky at times to try to meet that need with persons in your church. They may not understand or even be able to relate to the needs and challenges unique to pastors. Yet, we canít make it all by ourselves against all that the enemy of our souls and ministry will bring against us.
Phil ~ Some pastors have wisely recruited a prayer team for support and protection. How can this book assist those who pray diligently for their pastor?
Mark ~ This book will give intercessors that ďwhatsĒ to pray about. These pages will give you specific challenges, discouragements, enemies, and destructive thought patterns to pray over your pastor and his family.
Phil ~ How is "I refuse to quit!" the first step toward strength and freedom?
Mark ~ God has called us to faithfulness not success. If we will be faithful, hang on to God, and keep doing our best in Godís strength then God will take care of any success we may enjoy. Not quitting gives God the chance to show up in times of weakness and display His strength, wisdom, and love in our lives and ministries. Not quitting means God has to show up. We become a trophy of His grace shed abroad in our lives. If you decide to refuse to quit no matter whatÖthen that is a decision you donít even have to entertain unless you get a ďthus sayeth the Lord.? That frees you up to keep putting one foot in front of another for another day and to find your source of strength outside yourself. Remember: the battle doesnít belong to you but to the Lord.
Phil ~ Mark, please write a prayer struggling pastors can pray with you . . .
Dear Father God,
I am weak but you are strong. I am inconsistent but you
never change. I am a sinner and you are my righteousness.
Iím all about the destination but you are all about the
journey. You have called me and are faithful to fulfill your
ministry call and spiritual development in me. Therefore, I
give you my sin, struggles, weaknesses, problems, and fears.
I lay them at your feet. I am weary and heavily burdened. I
come to you for rest, refreshing, and renewal. Give me a
fresh measure of your joy that is my inner strength. I thank
you God that your mercies for me are new every morning. I
choose today to walk in your renewable strength, powerful
presence, and jubilant joy. Thank you Jesus for being my
all-in-all whenever I feel so down-and-out. The battle
around me belongs to you so each day I gratefully deliver
them in prayer to your capable hands. Thanks you for taking
such good care of all that could burden me. Amen
Bonus Cut ~ Dick
Hardy Podcast Interview 5/5/2009
Subject: Why in the world did Mark Elliott writeďConfessions
of an Insignificant Pastor: What Pastors Wish They Could
This book really came out of a real God-moment experience
that I had in Indianapolis in
2007 that released me to write this timely book.
Secondarily, ĎConfessionsí came out of my own painful
experiences in 27 years of full-time ministry and yet not
giving up when I surely felt to do so.
Iíve read stats from Barna
and Focus on the Family that
says, ď80% of pastors quit the ministry in their first five
yearsĒ and that ď1,200 ministers leave the ministry each
month.Ē My heart beats for hurting pastors and their
families. Who ministers to the pastor today? Where does the
minister go for help?
I believe this book will help bring
encouragement, strength, and renewal to pastors who will
then begin to open up and talk transparently with
their peers and begin then to truly support one
another rather than compete against
them behind their lone-ranger masks.
Specifically in the past 5 years God has used some very painful incidents
to birth this
book to be of help to others in the body of ChristÖwhether
in thepulpit or
in the pew. We have a plateaued American
church because we have plateaued people
and plateaued pastors
who all desperately need a spiritualrefreshing from
God. This is a book about hope, faithfulness, and
1. Critics might say the title sounds like you are really insecure?
What do you say?
The title might be construed by some to be negative in
nature but the book is actually very positive, faith-filled
and encouraging! Am I insecure? SURE! Arenít we all too some
degree and in differing areas? I believe our insecurity is
a byproduct of
the fall of man from God and into sin. The insecurity in us
all is due to our sin nature which separates us from God.
that Jesus came to bridge that gap and become our security.
This book is all about slaying the dragon of insecurity,
sin, evil, and bitterness so that we can be free to live our
life to the fullest extent in Godís will and His incredible
journey He has planned for us.
2. Is this book kind of a downer?
This book is far from being a downer. This is about getting
back up when you get knocked down. This book is about
3. How will this book help a pastor?
This book will help pastors to become more
confident, secure, and encouraged to tackle all that life
brings across their paths. This book will open updialogue between
pastors with their peers. ĎConfessionsí will build a pack of
pastoral finishers rather
For their lay
book will help them better understand how to encourage and pray for
their pastors. The book could do wonders when read and used
in a small
group format with
the provided SG questions with a leadership/deacon board,
pastoral staff group, or even intercessory prayer groups who
pray for their pastors.