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I began writing this piece within hours of learning of the suicide death of Pastor Teddy Parker in Georgia and reflecting on the great burden on all pastors in an attempt to start a much needed dialogue on the unbearable standards of the pastorate and how we cope under that burden. What follows is a two-part series and I invite others to weigh in on the subject.

Editors Note: This is part one in a series on the struggles and challenges of being a minister of God by T.D. Jakes, who has an extensive ministry serving and caring for pastors and church leaders. Jakes reminds pastors in part one that they have (1) feet of clay, and (2) the solitude of leadership is a dangerous drug. In part two, Jakes gives practical advice on how to avoid the traps in (1) and (2).

In writing my new book on leadership called Instinct, I spent a great deal of time studying the behaviors of animals in their natural habitat as a metaphor for how we humans navigate through the various social constructs or “jungles” of life.

In my observations, I found no more enduring symbol of leadership than the eagle.

With the moniker “king of the skies,” the eagle is the quintessential representation of a commander in chief. It embodies the qualities of power, strength, distinction and authority.

Its perfect eyesight is eight times that of a human, panoramic in scope and yet perceptive enough to spot a mouse at 400 feet.

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DISCUSSION: T. D. Jakes Discusses The Struggles And Challenges of Being A Minister of God  was originally published on