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How Our Pastors Cope – A Look at Their Mental Health and Struggles

Posted Jun 06 2010 7:32am

Oftentimes we are quick to point out what our pastors are doing wrong, or how they could better serve us. But we must remember that they are usually doing the best they can with the resources and support that they have. They are human just like us, and can and will make mistakes, but these mistakes are usually from being overworked and under-appreciated. Take time to tell your pastor thank you for what he does do that blesses you. -Lisa

In a 2001 study, 76% of clergy were found to be overweight or obese. 10% were , 40% depressed some of the time or worn out most of the time. In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, problems, including chemical dependency, are the leading cause of disability in their health plan, accounting for 1/3 of the 300 rostered ministers on disability.

In a 2007 Focus on the Family article, a Barna Group study stated that the average pastor lasts only 5 yrs. at a church; churchgoers expect their pastor to juggle an average of 16 major tasks. Pastors are among the most over-worked and under-appreciated group of professionals. A rising divorce rate among clergy indicates ministry’s high-risk nature and its impact on clergy families.

As mental health congregational resource consultant for the Alban Institute, Carole Wills served with their Clergy Wellness Task Force during 2008. The focus of the this podcast interview is clergy mental health – an important concern for clergy, lay leaders and members of congregations.

Submitted by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries,

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