Off to NYC to talk to a group of pastors regarding their spiritual and relational health. My basic point: unique stressors of ministry plus unmet personal/professional expectations equals stress responses that either destroy or strengthen a pastor. No rocket science here but I hope to get them thinking about some practical steps they might take to ensure their own renewal. Some Shepherds tend, I’m sorry to say, to focus on the care of the sheep but neglect their own care–thus forgetting they themselves are sheep.
Interested in a summary of research on the unique situation of pastors? Check out the “slides” page for a brief paper written by me last year for a group of us meeting to dream about starting a center for multi-level care for christian leader families.
4 responses to “Manhattan”
Hey Phil !
My husband and I met a couple this past Fathers Day in the baseball Hall of Fame. I have a tendency to talk to random strangers via a smile and hello or some offer to assist. While Jay was in the mens room I happened to see an older couple that were taking pics and I said, hi………..we ended up talking for over 30 min. as it turns out they have children in the ministry and are believers. There one son is a pastor out in Washington state and he has a spread of app. 100 acres which he has devoted to ministers that need a retreat and break from shepherding !! I thought was the neatest concept. You are absolutely right and I pray our pastors are warmly appreciated and encouraged to rest along the way of their journey today as well.
Dr. Jim Meyer, an associate professor in the counseling department at PBU, spends much of his counseling time tending to pastors and missionaries who are burnt out from ministry. He had some fairly incredible (but well-cloaked w/regard to identity) stories about how well-meaning folks end up chewed up and spit out in the course of ministry.
I find this interesting as I am an undergraduate currently and plan on continuing on to get a degree in christian counseling and I have several friends that are currently going in to the semenary. Any advice as to how I can minister/support them in their endevor?
Give them space to talk about their dreams, fears, expectations, etc. in a confidential manner. Pray for them. That’s a start.