Why do pastors need so much care?
Stories about pastors who make repeated unhealthy choices seem to surface with some regularity these days. Why is that? Here are just a few statistics we found thanks to combined research information provided primarily by the Fuller Institute and the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership…
- 100% of pastors know of a colleague who has left the profession due to burnout
- 90% of pastors report working 50-75 hours per week
- 90% feel inadequately trained for the demands of their job
- 70% struggle with depression
- 70% do not feel they have someone who they consider to be a close friend
What these numbers translate to are individual stories of people who, although they’ve been called into ministry, are still very much human. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their work, living in a state of burnout can cause wounds that extend far beyond the walls of their own home. Now marry these numbers with the harsh realities of living in an Arctic climate in the bush. One can only begin to comprehend the challenges Arctic Christian pastors and missionaries face. Often their needs go unmet, too complex to address, or simply remain sealed tight behind the doors of their church.
How do we help?
Pastor and missionary care as a ministry in and of itself is a rather new spin on an old concept. Discipleship. Looking into scripture we can see Jesus himself had a certain flow within his discipleship ministry. He often would transition from ministry among crowds, to time with his disciples, and then on to time spent alone with God. Finding ways to encourage rest, care and discipleship will greatly increase a minister’s capacity to remain in ministry and joyfully fulfill their calling.
The ministries and services provided to bush pastors through Arctic Barnabas Ministries feed into those three elements of discipleship as well as the unique demands of Arctic bush living. It is our prayer that, through pastoral care, local and indigenous Christian leaders in the Arctic will find the strength and JOY to carry the Gospel forward into their communities.
This week we pause to pray for care and rest for our pastors.
This is a busy season for Arctic pastors. The demands of summer projects, fishing, subsistence life and ministry are all rolled into one season. Lord give our Arctic pastors and missionaries the gift of discipleship and rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28
Would you consider joining ABM as a Ministry Partner?To make a lasting impact consider donating to our Annual Beach Walk Fundraiser! All proceeds are tax deductible and provide fuel and flights for on-field pastoral care visits. Thanks so much!
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