“Their church is doing great. They just built a second building.”
–What people base church success on and why so many pastors feel like failures.
One of the main sources of pastoral depression, and all other forms of depression, is comparison.
“Comparison steals contentment” is the old quote you hear in various forms. There is truth there.
Most comparison is based on what you see. Being the pastor of a small church with a pathetic building situation is depressing on many levels.
People in your church will frequently demand the impossible from the group and make fun of its small size. It develops a complex as everyone feels a little foolish in our little group. People visit the church and then never come back, making the whole group feel rejected, embarrassed, and a tad defensive.
People from other churches constantly tell you how great their church is. How many got saved. How many attend. How much their new building project costs. The new exciting programs your church could never afford that they started and won their whole city to Christ.
Pastors are constantly given advice from “more successful” pastors (and there will always be a more successful pastor) about how to do things and “here’s your problem.” If we could all just be as cool as those cool guys in their cool churches.