Death by Ministry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Death by Ministry
    by Eugene Cho

    Is pastoral ministry a dangerous profession? Eugene Cho shares the facts.

    Several years ago, I spent several hours per week doing research (and meeting with other pastors) about pastoral health and vitality for my denomination.

    I chose to spend some time doing that for selfish reasons. I was and am still learning how to take better care of myself in ministry (as evidenced by the scary picture above) – while completely acknowledging that sometimes, it’s not supposed to feel right. We all know that work…well…is supposed to be laborious. And those in ministry know that ministry in itself is difficult. There’s no way to get around it, but…
    What I learned was pretty shocking and heartbreaking, but one of the conclusions I came to was that as ministry leaders, pastors, and other pursuers of God’s work, it helps to understand some of the challenges ahead and to be proactive rather than reactive.


    The rest of the story is at http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/146201-death-by-ministry.html
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    Excellent article!
     
  3. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Thank you for sharing this information. My personal thoughts are the ministry is not a physically dangerous profession, but can be emotionally dangerous. I am not a minister, but I have two brothers-in-law that are currently in the ministry and I have observed the strain on them and their families. When we are together it is like there is some sort of relief, as if they are able to let their hair down and be themselves.

    ...Bob
     
  4. drfuss

    drfuss
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    I too am not a minister; but my father-in-law and brother were both pastors for many years. I was a senior manager in the governement before I retired.

    There are many similar aspects between pastoring and management. Here are some guidelines on being sucessful in management.

    1. Always develop your social life apart from those who you supervise. In my case, our social life was almost exclusively in the churches we attended. Of course I had to attend social functions as a part of my position, but that is not where my closest friends were. This is because ultimately those work friendships will interfere with your management decisions. This separation from work also puts you and your wife on the same plain in your social group.

    For pastors, this means having close friends that are not connected with your church. This gives your wife social connections that she needs, independent from your work. Some pastors belong to organizations like the Rotary Club, etc. or play golf with people not associated with church. This would mean that ministers are not the center of attention with their close friends, but just one of their group; some ministers have trouble with not being number one.

    2. In the same way, your close friends should not be your work contemporaries or supervisors. Your friendship status with these people is usually based on your work position. You need close friends who are friends because or who we are, and not based on your work position.

    This is also true for ministers. My long deceased father-in-law went from a relatively large church to a much smaller church. He was shocked by how his former "minister friends" in the relatively large churches, treated him after he took a smaller church. He fell into the trap of not developing any friends who were not connected with church and felt deserted by his "friends".

    3. Go on vacations with your family and none-work friends to get away from the constant pressure of work. My wife felt left out when we met with work friends because she could not be a part of the converstion.

    For ministers, the applications are obvious.


    In my experience, one of the problems I have observed is that many ministers tend to consider themselves above laymen and it shows. Within the church, the minister is the leader and should be somewhat elevated socially. However, outside the church, the minister is on the same level as laymen and his other family members. The laymen's time is just as valuable as the minister's time. I have seen family members say among themselves that since the minister thinks his time is so much important than ours, then we will let the minister do his thing and not try to have any close association with him. When that minister needed his family friends, they were not always available.


    I hope the above helps.
     
  5. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Loved Dann McCreary's comment below the article.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I have been threatened and afraid. A person in the congregation came after me one time and tried to punch me. Another person was there to keep that from happening.
     

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