Episode 6: Facing the Regrets of Ministry and Overcoming Them

Ordinary Radicals
Ordinary Radicals
Episode 6: Facing the Regrets of Ministry and Overcoming Them

In this episode of the Ordinary Radicals podcast, Jonathan Hayashi and Brandon Boatner speak on the topic of regrets in ministry.

There seems to be a whole lot of other topics such as church polity, theological controversy, practical methodology, or scriptural matters yet not on this topic.

I guess the first question is why aren’t people talking about this? Is it because people have no regrets in ministry? Or it is a hush-hush topic to be avoided?


Some highlights from today’s episode;

  • 90% of current pastors in churches 10 years from now will NOT be in ministry.

  • On a lay congregant level, people view pastors as superman.
  • People often say, “Jus forgive and forget!” A society says, “just move on!” from any hard issues in life.
  • Christians society has been influenced by the secular society and you got to just move on. I don’t know if that’s a biblically faithful understanding of how God views regrets.
  • As Christians, we must process emotion, but our society doesn’t process emotion well.
  • The world has its McDonalds ways: society is quick-fast paste religious spirituality.

  • Human beings are emotional beings. God has created with the ethos within the heart.
  • Emotions are a great indicator but ought not to be our dictators.
  • Healthy Understanding physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually affect each component as wholistic being is crucial.
  • There are overwhelmed mothers, stressed fathers and confused teenagers. All have complex challenges, but amazingly for Christians, the solution is one and that is Jesus.
  • If people refuse to see the past (rehash back) then people will do the same mistake over and over again.
  • As people, we cannot divorce our experience and background from who we are.

  • Saying, “Yes” to ministry was saying “No” to family.
  • I don’t think there’s nowhere in the church that pride is just helpful, but in every way,  humility is helpful!
  • Part of processing regret, guilt, shame, and doubt is allowing yourself to feel by crying out to God through it.

  • Almost half of the books of Psalms is about lamenting.
  • Come before God humbly, allow yourself to feel emotions, remind yourself of the truth of God.
  • You are NOT the ministry and at the core NOT who you are. You are a Christians a child of God.

  • The 21stcentury contemporary evangelicalism says we need to be, “happy, happy, happy” or “joy, joy, joy” that doesn’t give room for a health holistic lens of scripture.
  • Interpreting God depending on our circumstance probably is not the wisest thing to do.
  • Christin’s with emotions should not express in unhealthy ways, or suppress as it doesn’t exist, or regress to dump it somewhere, but to confess in healthy ways as the Psalms did.
  • Scripture: Inform the mind, ignite the heart and invite the will.
  • Allow the scripture to warm your affection that transforms your volition.


Here are the three points as they dive into the hush-hush topic of regrets in ministry;

1. Avoidance: Why is the Topic of Regret in Ministry Unspoken?  

  • Regrets is a huge burden in our lives as pastor/leaders.
  • The source of regrets often is in guilt, shame and judgement.
  • The Christian Cliché: “Forgive and Forget!”

– a. A culture / community filled with regrets.

  • Christians are being influence by the culture (Hebrews 10:24-25).
  • Process of Emotion: “I don’t want to! It hurts and it feels bad.”
  • Avoidance: “I just don’t think about it, deal with it, so don’t feel about it.”

– b. Human beings are emotional beings (John 11:35).

  • What happens to a society that is looking for the next thing to make themselves feel good?
  • Jesus is the solution to all problems (Matt 12:12-17; Heb 12:1-3).
  • There are biblical basis to look backwards.


2. The Examples of Regrets in Real Life Ministry

– a. Priorities of Life: (1) God, (2) Family, (3) Ministry.

  • Pray to God to give you courage to face the errors of life.
  • Rock bottom experience leads to humility.
  • God then breaks down pride in the heart and humbles His people.

– b. The Theology of Lament

  • What is Lament? Come with sorrow/grief and process in healthy way by being bluntly honest and authentic.
  • The Book of Lamentation: The cry baby vs. The men’s men.
  • The Book of Psalms: “The Lord heard my plea” (Ps 6:1-10).
  • “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope” (Lam 3:1-21).


3. Healthy Way to Handle Regrets

a. Unhealthy ways to deal with Regret: “I’m stuck in this.”

  • “Remain in me” (John 15:1-5).
  • Anxiety & Fear = becomes the sole focus rather than God himself.
  • “Do not be anxious for nothing.” (Phil 4:7-8).
  • Hymn: What a Friend We have in Jesus.
  • Puritans during the Colonial Period Response to Hardship.

b. Goal: Mature and moved forward in regrets.

  • God does not expect for believers to be spiritual children.
  • Relapse? Go backward instead of forward?
  • Fear of men rather than fear of God (Prov 1:7).
  • Trials / regrets in life for the testing of faith (Jam 1:2-4).
  • Predestined to Transform in Christ-likeness (Rom 8:29).
  • Perseverance: Regrets that leads to Hope in Christ (Rom 5:3-5).

c. Relapse or Reminder? God uses those to lead to growth.


Resources mentioned in today’s podcast



If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at jonathanhayashi.com.


Thanks for listening! If you have found this podcast helpful, go to iTunes and leave a rating & review! That is one simple way you can help me get this in the ears of as many people as possible. Thanks for the help!


Ordinary Radicals Podcast is a member of the HNR.GD Network

Leave a Comment