Friday, August 20, 2010

An Avoidable Epidemic

The fall season is just about upon us.  And that's kick-off time for many churches as people return from leisurely summertime schedules.  Expectations run high as church-goers anticipate vibrant new sermon series, calendars jam-packed with cutting-edge programs and activities for their families, and meaningful special events, conferences, classes, and studies.

Sadly, a great number of pastors are not feeling refreshed, renewed, vibrant, or expectant. With month after month of endless ministry and little, if any, extended periods of focused spiritual, emotional, and physical renewal, many report that on every level, they are incredibly drained ... and are just about running on empty.

Ruth Haley Barton reports, "The issue of dangerous levels of depletion among pastors and clergy continues to be a very serious one. An article in the New York Times (Taking a Break From the Lord’s Work) and a post on the Associated Baptist Press site (Study Says Clergy Neglecting Self-Care) describe what could be called an epidemic among Christian leaders. These findings are consistent with recent communications we have received from pastors and Christian leaders who are aware they are not rested enough to face the next ministry season."

The question begs to be asked: What's one thing you can do this week to either prevent or combat this avoidable epidemic in your church?

Let's join together to fight for our pastors' souls ~

"And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!"
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (The Message).


  1. It would be interesting to see a study on missionaries. My experience indicates their unique situation of balancing pastoral, mission, and organizational issues on two continents presents sets of dichotomous relationships that add stressors to the psychological condition.

  2. And then add family concerns, cultural issues, financial needs, and a lack of resources to address the needs of the soul to the already overwhelming mix of pastoral, mission, and organizational issues ...


    Our insistence on sabbaticals that turn into non-stop fund-raising marathons leave little if any time for a healthy life balance and the pursuit of individual spiritual refreshment and growth.

    I appreciate your comment!


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