The Unfulfilled Pastor: When Success Becomes a Trap

The Unfulfilled Pastor: When Success Becomes a Trap January 17, 2024

(image courtesy of Canva)

In the compelling faith serial “The Anointed,” we follow the journey of Pastor John, a character whose life trajectory holds a mirror to many American pastors and church leaders today.

The Rise of Pastor John: A Tale of Unsustainable Ambition

John’s life is now rapidly progressing. By the time he’s forty, he has a national ministry. He’s immensely wealthy, driving the finest cars. He has that large congregation he dreamed of, but it’s still not enough. It’s never enough. There always has to be a little more until it’s unsustainable.

Confronting the Pitfalls: The Cost of Never-Ending Success

That’s how it works with a beckoning pitfall. To meet the call of the pitfall in your life, there needs to be an extra scoop every time. Because this scoop isn’t enough, the call only gets louder.

The Turning Point: When Stopping is the Only Way Forward

The only thing that can now save John is if he would stop. Stop all the things that bring him success and withdraw from everything, to work on himself.

The Inner Conflict: Addiction to Success and Its Toll

However, John can’t do this. He’s addicted to the success that will ultimately destroy him. John can’t stop anymore… It’s as if a big slide has been placed next to the pitfall. If John would sit on the slide, he would slide right into the pitfall.

As everything in John’s life needs to be bigger, more beautiful, and more successful, the slide gets bigger too. The responsibilities John carries become almost unbearable. And still, John isn’t happy.

The Burden of Expectations: Preaching Salvation, Seeking Happiness

Every week, he preaches a message of salvation, liberation, healing, and miracles, while he himself lacks these things in his own life. John begins to struggle with the gap between his sermons and his own life.

The Hypocrisy Dilemma: Bridging the Gap Between Sermons and Reality

Sometimes he feels like a real hypocrite. John is tired of the show, of all the expectations he and others place on him. John has had enough, but the party must go on. Every day the party must continue, on and on and on…



About Matt Vlaardingerbroek
At 52, I’ve worn many hats. For 14 years, I have been a church planter in one of Holland’s tough inner-city estates and served as a pastor, deeply immersing myself in community life. I have authored three Christian books and am a regular columnist for the Netherlands’ premier Christian website. A role close to my heart is that of a Christian children’s artist. Using ventriloquism and magic, I breathe life into Bible stories, sharing God’s tales in schools and churches. My creative streak also led to, a rich resource offering over 1,500 Sunday school activities. This platform aids children’s workers, teachers, and parents globally in imparting Biblical lessons to youngsters You can read more about the author here.

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