Top 8 Issues for Pastors by Ron McIntosh (Part 3)

Problems and Solutions Read Part 1   Read Part 2

This blog continues our review of the top 8 issues pastors struggle with the most. In Part 1 we took at look at criticism of conduct and family problems. Part 2 focused on stress, depression and burnout. This blog deals with sexual problems.

Research reveals the top 8 Issues for Pastors include:

  1. Criticism of Conduct
  2. Family Problems
  3. Stress
  4. Depression
  5. Burnout
  6. Sexual Problems
  7. Financial Problems
  8. Time Management

Now, let’s look at issue #6.

#6 Issue – Sexual Problems

The stresses of work, lowered self-esteem and family struggles often leave pastors susceptible to sexual temptations.

  • 33% confess to inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church.
  • 54% of pastors have seen porn in the last year.

#6 – Keys to Overcoming Sexual Problems

Sexual problems are usually the result of an unproductive marriage, lowered self-esteem, escapism, boredom, or not feeling loved, so that lust becomes a substitute for these issues.

  • The way to overcome lust and sin is not simply to resist it. It was Carl Jung who said, “What you resist persists.” The way to overcome sin is not to suppress it, but to replace it. If I say to you, “Don’t think about the pink elephant,” chances are you’re thinking about the pink elephant. Rather than simply focusing on what you don’t want to do, let your focus be on what you want. God doesn’t want you to live sin-conscious, but righteousness conscious (Rom. 8:19-21). On the other hand, scripture suggests the one you obey is the one you submit to (Rom. 6:16). In other words, if you obey the devil, you give him access to your life. Heb. 3:12, 13 tells us, “See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the loving God … so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” An often neglected truth concerning sin is that its subtle result is a hardened, desensitized heart. At best, sin causes you to be limited in the manifestation of God’s power, because we are not sensitive to the leading of God.
  • There are key factors to overcoming sexual temptation:
    • Perhaps chief among them is renewing your mind by biblical meditation. Since most believers and even leaders have little understanding on how to do this effectively, I recommend you read my book, The Greatest Secret, for details and simply refer to the 5 steps of biblical meditation.
  1. Still Stage
  2. Imagination Stage (See it).
  3. Strategy Stage (What to do with what you see)
  4. Action Stage (Everyday do something to your highest priority)
  5. Thanksgiving Stage (To guard your heart)

A renewed mind establishes your heart (Prov. 23:7) and out of the heart is every action conceived (Prov. 4:23). In this way, you don’t simply try to suppress sin, but to replace it. Love and righteousness are the antidotes to lust. See our Barrier Busters CD’s for a helpful tool to renew your thought life.

  • Other key practical helps are:
    • Avoid areas of temptation while in the process of replacing your thoughts.
    • Never counsel alone with members of either sex.
    • Learn to bounce your eyes.
    • There are all kinds of blocks for your phones and computers – use them … and use them with your mate’s knowledge.
    • Have a mentor you can be completely honest with, who can walk you through areas of temptation and sin.
    • Like Nike says, “Just do it.” Don’t just read about this, do these steps.

#7 Issue – Financial Problems

Research reveals that 70% of pastors are underpaid. Most churches have more vision than dollars to fulfill them and it leads to frustration.

#7 – Keys to Overcoming Financial Problems

  • Every church should pay its employees the best they can. No pastor should be paid below the mean salary of its congregation. An underpaid pastor will have stress and pressure that negates faith and freedom.
  • Most churches I know are a mile wide and an inch deep. Simply put, you do so many things that you don’t do any of them well. Do a few things well. Before you add to your vision, eliminate some things, if needed, to do your essentials best.
  • Teach your people effectively and consistently on how God blesses giving as a kingdom law. Make sure you love them as well.
  • Cast vision. People don’t give to need, they give to vision.

WATCH for upcoming post – Top 8 Issues for Pastors Part 4 – where I will address the remaining issues.

This is my prayer for you:

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21)


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Read Part 4

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