Prevent Pastoral Burnout

Pastoral burnout is an issue facing many priests and pastors in the ministry today. Trying to do everything yourself, relying on your own strength rather than on the power of God, and dealing with conflicts between the older and younger generations can take a toll on your health and your emotions.

If you are in the ministry and find yourself suffering from pastoral burnout, you are not alone. According to Dr. Dan Chun, writing an article in the Honolulu Adviser, few pastors and priests make it to retirement. A high number of them either quit, get fired or have a breakdown – either moral or emotional.

Resources for Hurting Priests and Pastors

If you are a priest or pastor, here are some resources to help you.

PastorBurnout.com. Written by a former pastor, this website is an excellent resources for pastors and former pastors and priests.

Smoldering Wick Ministries. This website provides articles and tutorials to help you recognize pastoral burnout and heal.

Ways the Congregation Can Help

According to Dr. Chun, most churches don’t give sabbaticals to their pastors, even though unlike high school teachers and college professors, they are never allowed to give the same message twice. Every one needs a break, including your pastor.

Also, most pastors and priests are underpaid, and few churches have personnel committees that will advocate on their behalf regarding salary, vacations, study leave or special celebrations.

And finally, most pastors and priests are expected to be on call seven days a week. They are expected to do everything, including being CEO, therapist, scholar, teacher, administrator and spiritual leader.

Providing ways for others to step into these roles, and advocating for better pay and leave will go a long way in avoiding burnout.

Provide Affirmation

Take the time to say thanks to your pastors or priests. Provide them with small gifts from time to time and let them know when they have given a sermon that has spoken to you.

More Information About Christianity

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Other Great Resources For the Clergy

Did you know contributions rules changed in 2006? Do you have a reimbursement policy in place in your church? Do you know what you can hold out of your priest's or minister's paycheck and what you absolutely cannot? Free Church Accounting answers those questions and more. It also offers free financial spreadsheets for your church.

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