Symptoms of Sifted

Each year, an estimated 4,000 new churches start representing thousands of church planters. Many of these planters struggle not just with the logistics and dynamics of birthing a new church, but with other challenges and difficulties that have brought them to a place of sifting. The reality is that regardless of the church model, approach or heritage, ‘in this world we will have trouble’ and most church leaders will exhibit symptoms of sifting.

Below we have categorized some of the more common symptoms of sifting that pastoral leaders face. Of course everyone has a unique story, and every story may not fit into one of these 7 categories. Although the categories are not exhaustive, they represent those identified most in a survey of church planting leaders represented in the 2011 National Report, Top Issues Planters Face. Download the entire report here.

– Financial hardship and struggle (draining savings, retirement, etc)
– Loss of key friends / friendships
– Inability to get momentum and growth (hitting barriers and walls)
– Failing / Quitting (death of the dream)
– Isolation (lack of peer fellowship, friends, team, etc)

Mental Health Issues
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Sleeping Problems
– Abuse recovery

Family Tragedy and Challenge
– Death of a child / spouse
– Infertility
– Rebellious / wandering kids
– Disease / Serious illness of family members

– Infidelity and marital unfaithfulness
– Marriage tension

Personal Character
– Pride / Arrogance
– Humility
– Narcism
– Teachability
– Idols
– Coveting / Comparison
– Unresolved family of origin issues

– Burnout
– Boundaries
– Adrenaline Disease
– Accountability (lack of)

– Pornography
– Prescription Drugs
– Drugs
– Alcohol
– Technology