Monday, August 2, 2010

New York Times on Clergy Burnout

This is why I coach.

image Sunday’s New York Times featured an article on clergy Burnout: “Taking a Break from the Lord’s Work.” It begins:

The findings have surfaced with ominous regularity over the last few years, and with little notice: Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen. Many would change jobs if they could.

Public health experts who have led the studies caution that there is no simple explanation of why so many members of a profession once associated with rosy-cheeked longevity have become so unhealthy and unhappy.

Those who study such things say that such simple things as taking time off work wonders.

But ministers don’t do it. 

Having “an outsider” come alongside them and help THEM evaluate their own balance and effectiveness is incredibly helpful.

That’s why I coach.

Find the article here.

7 comments:

A. Amos Love said...

Is it possible the reason “Burnout” is such a problem
for **Today’s** “Pastor/Leader” is
they have found themselves with

a “Title” and “Position” NOT found in the Bible?

Did anyone have the “Title” “pastor” in the Bible?
Was anyone ordained a “pastor” in the Bible?
Any congregations “led” and “taught”
by a “pastor” in the Bible?

And every “pastor” I’ve met
also had the “Title” “Reverend.”

Does anyone have the “Title” Reverend in the Bible?

Had a friend, an Episcopal Priest,
would tease him about all the “Titles” he carried.
Priest, Father, Pastor, Vicar, Rector, Reverend.
Would ask him...
Any believers, in the Bible, with these “Titles?”

Jesus taught “His Disciples”
NOT to be called “Master/Leader”
For you have “ONE” “Master/Leader” The Christ.
Mat 23:8-10 KJV

Ezekiel 14:1-7, speaks about “Idols of the Heart,”
and now God will speak to us according
to the “Idols of our Heart.”
Has that “Title” “Pastor/Leader” become an “Idol?”

In my experience…

Titles become Idols.
Pastors become Masters.

Along with the “Title” and “Position” comes
“A Little Bit Extra.”
Power, Profit, Prestige, Glory, Honor, Reputation, etc..

All “Idols” of the heart,
heavy weights on shoulders NOT easy to lay down.

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall “hear my voice;”
and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice.
If Not Now, When?

Be blessed in your search for Truth… Jesus.

Cal Habig said...

Well, in fact, yes they were. Congregations were led by pastors (also called bishops or elders). Shepherd is one biblical name for those who lead the congregation and our English word "pastor" comes from the Latin word "shepherd". And the biblical model is indeed to "set apart" those who do this spiritual work of eldering. (Titus 1:5)

Peter talks about the fact that we have one "shepherd (which, again, means pastor) and overseer of our souls" (I Peter 2.25) or "Great Shepherd" (I Pet. 5:4) but that does not preclude us from having earthly "shepherds". Two verses before Peter calls Christ our Great Shepherd, he is exhorting the elders (as HE was an elder) to "shepherd the flock of God."

If everyone is "a law unto himself" chaos results and that is not honoring to the Lord. God designs shepherds to have authority and to wield it when necessary because there will always be unruly and selfish men.

Additionally, Paul spoke in Eph 4:11 of pastoring as being one of the gifts Christ gave to the church. (Whether the term is "pastor" or "pastor-teacher" is a conversation for another time.)

But indeed the word pastor IS a New Testament word to be used for those who shepherd the flock of God.

BTW: While it was not your main point, I know very few pastors who are called "reverend." They are for the most part a humble group and aver that they are more reverend than others. HOWEVER, the New Testament does not forbid that. It DOES forbid (if you go along this line of thinking) being called "teacher" (Matt 23::10) but I don't find any in our churches who are adverse to calling their teachers, well, "teacher".

I prefer not to be called "reverend." And I never am by any who know me (except in jest to get my goat). But we should necessarily be rude to those who use it. I have never found anyone use it except in a very respectful way. At times it is appropriate to say, "Just call me Cal" or at other times (when I don't really have a relationship with them) I'll just let it pass. They mean no harm.

Ps. 111:19 says that God is "holy and reverend is his name". I am in no way reverend in the way that God is. But I want my life to reflect as many of the characteristics of God as I can. If someone wants to call me a lover, that is fine, although I will never love like God loves. If someone wants to call me just, that is fine, although I will never be just as God is. If someone wants to call me reverend, that is fine, although I don't prefer it and will never be as reverend as God is.

I believe that rather than battling over titles, we need to exhibit the character that God exhibits.

Cal Habig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cal Habig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A. Amos Love said...

Cal

I too thought I was special. I was in “Leadership.”

When you believe the lie you start to die...

I have seen the dangers of "Titles," and “Position,”
of **Today’s** "Pastor/Leader."
“Spiritual Abuse” for both, "leader" and “led.”
IMO - The “Title” “Pastor/Leader” is very, dangerous.

In my experience...
No matter how loving, eventually...
No matter how humble, eventually...
No matter how much of a servant, eventually...

Pastor/Leader = exercise authority = lord it over =
“Spiritual Abuse” = always

I'm not not new to “ministering healing”
to those who have been “Abused” by those who
took the “Title” and “Position”- “Pastor/Leader."

Folks who are **burnt,** ** burnt out,**
** kicked out,** and **crawled out** of
“The Abusive Religious System” most call “church.”
With unbiblical “Titles,” leaders, tithes and offerings,
submission to authority, and other unbiblical
“heavy weights” put on folks shoulders.

I also spend time with pastors,
“so called leaders,” who can't do it anymore.

Trying to please the denominational leaders,
the congregation and it's leaders, their family,
and of course Jesus.
Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

Serving so many masters, that's tough; Yes?

Preaching every week... and it better be good,
being the CEO, the team leader, councilor, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

“Burnout” and “Depression” is rampant today. Yes?

This is info from a website helping burned out Pastors.

http://www.pastorcare.org/PastorCare/Healing___Health.html

• 77% say they do “not” have a good marriage.
• 71% have felt burned out or depressed.
• 70% do not have one they consider a close friend.

That's who is running the show. “Pastors/Leaders?”
77% who say they don’t have a good marriage. Hmmm?
That's who is "Spiritually Abusing" God's sheep.

More statistics. This is serious business for both. Yes?

http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastoralCare/Statistics.php

# 80% of pastors' spouses wish they would choose
.... a different profession.
# 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively
.... affected their families.
.... Many pastor's children do not attend church now
.... because of what the church has done to their parents.
# 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
# 33% state that being in the ministry is
.... an outright hazard to their family.
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction of the pastor.

BUT, I’m the leader, says so right here on my diploma.

Seems one qualification for elders requires them
to have their family in order.

Sounds like most “elders/pastors” aren’t meeting just this one qualification. 80%? What about the others?

Shouldn't they remove themselves from the “Position”
if they no longer qualify as an “elder/pastor?”

Jesus... The Shepherd and Bishop of my soul...

A. Amos Love said...

Cal

I too thought I was special. I was in “Leadership.”

When you believe the lie you start to die...

I have seen the dangers of "Titles," and “Position,”
of **Today’s** "Pastor/Leader."
“Spiritual Abuse” for both, "leader" and “led.”
IMO - The “Title” “Pastor/Leader” is very, dangerous.

In my experience...
No matter how loving, eventually...
No matter how humble, eventually...
No matter how much of a servant, eventually...

Pastor/Leader = exercise authority = lord it over =
“Spiritual Abuse” = always

I'm not not new to “ministering healing”
to those who have been “Abused” by those who
took the “Title” and “Position”- “Pastor/Leader."

Folks who are **burnt,** ** burnt out,**
** kicked out,** and **crawled out** of
“The Abusive Religious System” most call “church.”
With unbiblical “Titles,” leaders, tithes and offerings,
submission to authority, and other unbiblical
“heavy weights” put on folks shoulders.

I also spend time with pastors,
“so called leaders,” who can't do it anymore.

Trying to please the denominational leaders,
the congregation and it's leaders, their family,
and of course Jesus.
Who is often relegated to last place. Hmmm?

Serving so many masters, that's tough; Yes?

Preaching every week... and it better be good,
being the CEO, the team leader, councilor, marrying, burying, smiley face. etc. etc.

“Burnout” and “Depression” is rampant today. Yes?

A. Amos Love said...

This is info from a website helping burned out Pastors.

http://www.pastorcare.org/PastorCare/Healing___Health.html

• 77% say they do “not” have a good marriage.
• 71% have felt burned out or depressed.
• 70% do not have one they consider a close friend.

That's who is running the show. “Pastors/Leaders?”
77% who say they don’t have a good marriage. Hmmm?
That's who is "Spiritually Abusing" God's sheep.

More statistics. This is serious business for both. Yes?

http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastoralCare/Statistics.php

# 80% of pastors' spouses wish they would choose
.... a different profession.
# 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively
.... affected their families.
.... Many pastor's children do not attend church now
.... because of what the church has done to their parents.
# 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
# 33% state that being in the ministry is
.... an outright hazard to their family.
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go the same direction of the pastor.

BUT, I’m the leader, says so right here on my diploma.

Seems one qualification for elders requires them
to have their family in order.

Sounds like most “elders/pastors” aren’t meeting just this one qualification. 80%? What about the others?

Shouldn't they remove themselves from the “Position”
if they no longer qualify as an “elder/pastor?”

Jesus... The Shepherd and Bishop of my soul...

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