Pastor, You Aren’t As Lonely As You Think

By Scott Couchenour

Photo by VinothChandar.

Pete jerked into consciousness at the sound of his alarm clock.

6:00am… already.

He laid there in the quiet stillness. Meanwhile, all the little monkeys, who were sitting at his bedside, realized Pete was awake and they proceeded to jump back into his mind.

One monkey whispered, “You’re still alone in this ministry.”

Another monkey, “You will always be lonely.”

And another monkey said, “Are you sure you want to keep going by yourself like this? Why not just quit?

Pete thought for a moment he’d be free of the monkeys, only to be disappointed… again.

He served as senior pastor of a nice little church of 103 people in a rural location. He had been there for about two plus years. He and his wife accepted the call because he wasn’t getting along in the youth pastor position at his previous assignment. He thought this church would be a new start for him.


But lately he’s been struggling with the little monkeys in his head that tell him he’s so lonely. So beside himself. No one to talk to. No one to share the burdens or even the victories. He’s got his wife, and that’s fulfilling a purpose. He’s got his church board and parishioners. But they just don’t understand the pressures of a senior pastor. So lonely…


Are you a pastor who struggles with loneliness? Do you think no one really understands? You aren’t the only one. There are others who struggle with the same dynamic in their ministries. I’d like to open you up to a few possibilities.

LinkedIn. This is a group of ministry leaders who carry on discussions about serving strong in ministry leadership.

Facebook. This is a group of ministry leaders who also carry on discussions about serving strong in ministry leadership.

Blog Posts. This is a link for you to subscribe to the blog posts on this site. We are always talking about serving strong in ministry.

The Sticks. This is a resource for you if you serve in a rural area.

Please don’t let the feelings of loneliness define you and your ministry. It’s a feeling, nothing more. The enemy wants you to struggle with this because he knows your potential in Christ. But you’re not alone. There is a tribe and you belong there. Take advantage of these (and any other resources you come across) and become part of a growing, strong community of ministry leaders.

Scott Couchenour

Scott Couchenour is a certified life coach and founder of Serving Strong, a resourcing and coaching service to ministry leaders. Serving Strong exists to eliminate burnout from the ministry equation. He is also VP of Operations for Cogun, Inc., a company that helps churches expand their ministry facilities through consulting, design coordination, and construction. Scott flies around in an empty nest in Ohio with his wife of over 26 years. He has two grown children. Scott believes in the local church and pursues a God-given passion to enable pastors to serve strong. You can visit Scott's website at and follow him on Twitter. Follow @servingstrong