SOS Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson loves church planters and is a Church Planter and Pastor of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN. He is also a Ministry Leadership Consultant at Mustard Seed Ministry and an Organizational Development Coach.

I have a degree in counseling. I’ve found people often expect the pastor to be above the emotional highs and lows others experience. That may be even more so of a pastor who also specializes in counseling. Fair or not, and even real or not, I have felt the weight of that expectation.

Ministry takes its toll on a person. It appears, from my experience, that church planting places exceptionally high demands on the planter and planter’s family. Our current plant is six years old. Midway through this process, I almost bottomed out in my ministry. From a “professional” viewpoint, if I’m capable of examining myself, I was in a mild form of depression.

In about an 18-month period, here’s what was happening:

  • Cheryl’s (my wife) father died.
  • My father died.
  • Our youngest son Nate moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute.
  • Jeremy graduated from college, moved out and prepared to get married.
  • Cheryl started working full-time again.
  • The house seemed so empty.
  • The church kept growing.
  • The demands and burdens of a growing church were exponential.

I must admit, it crept up on me. My church probably never noticed, except for the moments and illustrations I shared while preaching or through my blog. I kept doing all the things I had previously done.

At some point, however, I began to realize I was having more “bad” days than good. It began to affect the way I talked to Cheryl, members of our staff, and my general attitude towards life.

Thankfully, I’ve been in similar seasons before and so I knew some steps to take. I had to get back to the basic disciplines of my faith. I had to force myself to be still, get into His Word more often, and surround myself with people who would encourage and challenge me, and who could speak wisdom into my life. Over time, the feelings began to heal, life appeared more manageable, and my confidence was restored.

I’m still learning daily how much my personal life impacts my ministry. The greater reality that these times remind me of, however, is how desperate I remain for the grace of God. I am not immune from struggles. In fact, I may be more susceptible to them the larger my ministry grows. God uses these seasons to sift me into the person He wants me to be…one who fully relies on Him for every breath of my ministry and life.

More day-to-day sifting at

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