On Friday, Biblical Seminary hosted the first of what I hope to be many “Pastoring though Church Challenges” conference for pastors. We had a nice 75 or so ministry leaders here to hear plenaries and breakouts regarding specific church challenges and opportunities/challenges to their spiritual and emotional lives.
Everything went just about as smoothly as could be. My assistant director (MA Counseling program), Bonnie, gets all the credit here. I had an idea…she made it happen–and happen well at that!
At the end I asked a few anonymous survey questions and over 50% responded. Here’s what we learned:
1. Over half of the respondents are facing high levels of chronic stress
2. Most report they are “managing with struggles” (opposed to managing either “poorly” or “satisfactorily”, or “well.”
3. When asked to write in the top 2 sources of their stress they gave answers that fit in several categories. The categories receiving the most “hits” were personal issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, sinful habits, no passion) and marital distress. Financial stress and church conflict got the next highest level of “hits.
4. 43% did not have regular contact with someone who really knew them and their personal issues
5. Interestingly, respondents were rather wary of joining face-to-face or web-supported support groups of peers. Most rated their interest (theoretical) as maybe to unlikely. Web supported groups (video/discussion) received the least interest.