>> August 25, 2010
Pastors who are effective and get things done are considered "successful." Denominations ... focus on results that can be measured (e.g., increased membership and the congregation's financial well-being). Yet numerous studies over the past 20 years reveal that this approach is, literally, killing clergy and, by extension, churches and denominations. (Anne Dilenschneider, The Huffington Post)If you've never felt that your husband is under too much pressure to achieve visible results, just go ahead and walk away from the computer screen. We forgive you. (We might wonder about your sanity a little bit though...)
In her article, "Soul Care and the Roots of Clergy Burnout" Anne Dilenschneider lays out a bit of the history of how we got here. During the 1900s pastoral ministry transformed into a career that was measured by administrative and financial achievements rather than a "cure of souls".
Time spent in personal devotions and prayer is easily overlooked. Time that is just "wasted" with parishioners often has the greatest long-term return on investment, but it doesn't usually show dividends right away.
These aspects of our lives that truly make a difference in relational ministry get overlooked because we can't quantify the results with attendance numbers or offering dollars.
And our ministries could be so much stronger if we could just measure our success a little differently...
A FEW LINKS & RESOURCES ABOUT PASTORAL BURNOUT:
- No Rest for the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing Concern, David Gibson, Politics Daily
- Soul Care the the Roots of Clergy Burnout, Anne Dilenschneider, The Huffington Post
- Taking a Break from the Lord's Work, Paul Vitello, The New York Times
- Study finds Canadian clergy burned out, isolated, The Presbyterian Outlook
- National Clergy Renewal Program
- Clergy Health Initiative, Duke Divinity School
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