The Danger Of Living In Isolation

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People



“Be sure that your pastor and his family are regularly invited to the homes of families in your church.” p. 81

It’s easy for pastors to forego living life in authentic community. After all it’s risky to be known.  If people know us, they may not respect us, and that could affect our role as Shepherd.

Because of the fear of being known as anyone but a competent and called leader, pastors and their families often choose to live out their real personal lives in isolated and insulated from the body.

If there is one clear message in Paul Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling, it is a warning to pastors not to allow separation between their public and private identities.

The author entreats pastoral caregivers to help pastors walk out of the darkness of isolation with simple, and foundational gospel principles. One of which is to show hospitality.  Encourage the church body to regularly invite the pastor and his family into their homes.

A simple solution yet for many in the congregation, the idea of intentional soul care for pastors feels foreign and uncomfortable.

Why? Because congregations, like many pastors have bought into the deception that the pastor does not need the ministry of the body as other members do.

Pastors, like every other human, experience tribulations, conflicts, and challenges. “How is it that in many situations we have come to expect that the one leading the body of Christ can do well spiritually while getting less of the ministry of the body of Christ than everyone he has been called to lead?”  Tripp asks.  (p. 79)

Tripp challenges pastors and pastoral caregivers with laser-like precision to examine assumptions about leaders. Is it fair, Tripp asks to assume pastors do not need the same grace, care and community as the rest of the body.

Hospitality done in authentic community is foundational to the gospel and effective to help pastors and their families escape the deadening lull of isolation.  As the admonition goes – just do it.

Some simple, but effective suggestions for pastoral caregivers to employ from Dangerous Calling include:

  • Encouraging the body to invite the pastor and his family over for a meal, or to watch a sporting event
  • Taking the pastor and his family out for a meal
  • Treating the pastor to a game of golf, or organize a fishing trip with a group of guys

The point is to get pastors and their families out of isolation.  “Invite them into situations where they can relax and just be as ordinary as possible.” (p. 81)

Romans 12:10-12 says “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

To be known and cared for is one of the greatest gifts a congregation can give a pastor. And genuine, intentional hospitality is a mighty tool in the arsenal against the deceptive forces at work in lives lived in isolation.

Join us as we explore “Dangerous Calling” by Paul David Tripp.

To order a copy of your own of Paul Tripp’s book click on the link below.

535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles