2 thoughts on “Pastors Are Suffering From Burnout

  1. Greetings Pastor Susan!

    The three concluding paragraphs spoke the loudest to me,

    “Ministry is a profession in which the greatest rewards include meaningfulness and integrity. When those fade under pressure from churchgoers who don’t want to be challenged or edified, pastors become candidates for stress and depression.

    “Clergy need parishioners who understand that the church exists, as it always has, to save souls by elevating people’s values and desires. They need churchgoers to ask for personal challenges, in areas like daily devotions and outreach ministries.

    “When such an ethic takes root, as it has in generations past, then pastors will cease to feel like the spiritual equivalents of concierges. They’ll again know joy in ministering among people who share their sense of purpose. They might even be on fire again for their calling, rather than on a path to premature burnout.”

    Christianity is about relationship: first and foremost, each person’s relationship with the Lord; followed hard by community, our relationship with each other. Guiding, instructing, protecting–all those are difficult to do at any time and in any circumstance. They’re made much more difficult when there’s a misperception regarding what Christianity is all about. Yes, Jesus came to serve; and, yes, those who are called into ministry serve as well. But Jesus also said, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). We are all called to be servants, which (if understood) should remove the concierge/spectator syndrome.

    Community is extremely challenging when those in the flock are suffering from past (or, Heaven forbid, current) abuses, as people are less likely to listen or follow when trust is lacking or not fully formed. Frightened sheep tend not to pay attention, sometimes running headlong into danger. Ideally, each of us should love our fellows right where they are, helping each other toward wholeness, then extending that love to others. Lots of grace, lots of patience, lots of “don’t know what they’ve experienced, wonder how I can help.” That’s what the family of God needs, and that fellow feeling will also encourage and strengthen our pastors.

    All of Heaven’s best to you and yours,
    Margret

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