Pastors are people, too. It’s such a basic, “Of course!” truth, yet it so easily slips from Christians’ minds. Like “Dad” or “Mom,” a pastor’s position becomes their name.
So even as the world is more and more abuzz with talk of mental health, people still don’t stop to consider their pastor’s mental health.
Pastors shove it aside, too.
As each year of ministry passes, I’m amazed by the lies I have believed. As I’ve matured, I’ve found that one of the best defenses against believing lies is knowing the kinds of lies that tempt me. I’m on guard for them before I believe them, and so the temptation to believe and speak things I know are untrue has increasingly diminished. But still, even with greater awareness, I’m continually identifying lies that I tell myself.
I’ve also found that other pastors are tempted to believe many of the same lies I have accepted.2
It can be easy to believe that other pastors aren’t finding their personal time in the Word dry or feeling like they need to see a counselor.
The facts tell a different story. Over 300 pastors in 27 countries answered questions like these:
• Are you burned out?
• What is your largest unmet need?
• Have you considered suicide in the past year?
• What is your time in Scripture like?
Pastors, we’d love to share their answers with you so that you can be encouraged.
Church members, we’d love to share their answers with you so that you can see the needs pastors have and let God use you to help meet them.
And before you move on to your other tasks today, consider these thoughts from Curtis Zackery in Soul Rest:
A lot of the language that I’ve heard lately in and around the American Christian subculture focuses on a hustle-hard mentality. What I mean is that there is a current message that the key to our success as Jesus followers is to work harder in our effort to make a difference for God.
Our need to “grind it out for God” and always be “building for the kingdom” has created confusion around who the real Author and Builder of spiritual things is. This type of thinking can manifest itself in multiple ways.
Even if it is not a direct line of teaching that tells us that we need to be earning God’s pleasure with us through work, we have established a culture that measures our spirituality by our outward appearance and ability to produce measurable results. It seems as though we have become resigned to the fact that we will go, go, go, only to eventually use up all we have.
I’ve even heard Christians justify this thought by saying that they will worry about resting when they’re dead.
The question is, does it have to be this way? Is this our only option as followers of Jesus? Granted, I believe that we should do all we can always to be working hard “as though unto the Lord” but be careful to consider all aspects of God’s desire for us in this life. We see a great reminder of this in Psalm 127, which says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (v. 1).3
- 3 Simple Reminders to Encourage Burned-Out Pastors
- 6 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor All Year Long
- 7 Ways to Bless Your Pastor
- Dayton Hardman, Lies Pastors Believe: Seven Ways to Elevate Yourself, Subvert the Gospel, and Undermine the Church (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017), 77.
- Lies Pastors Believe, 2.
- Curtis Zackery, Soul Rest: Reclaim Your Life. Return to Sabbath (Bellingham, WA: Kirkdale Press, 2018) 11.