October is Clergy Appreciation Month, so it’s a timely moment to let you know about Focus’ latest efforts to help pastors. We’re working with the North American Mission Board to power the organization’s care line for pastors.
I’ll let Michael Lewis, the group’s executive director of Pastoral Care and Development, tell you more:
At the North American Mission Board (NAMB) we are keenly aware of the daily pressures that come with serving as a pastor. Research verifies that over time these daily pressures take their toll on pastors and their families, causing discouragement, frustration and even clinical depression. We hope to help alleviate this stress and loneliness for our pastors.
The Pastoral Care and Development initiative at NAMB exists to address the loneliness that comes with ministry. We provide relevant resources to comfort pastors and their families in times of crisis. That is why NAMB is grateful for the new partnership with Focus on the Family to provide a toll-free Pastoral Care Line: 1-844-PASTOR1. All calls are kept confidential and are handled professionally by trained counselors. A pastor’s name or his church’s name will not be shared with NAMB or anyone else. Our message for pastors is that your loneliness can be removed and your burden can be shared in a safe environment that will provide care and wisdom to deal with the crisis that most pastors and their families face at one time or another.
As we work toward helping Southern Baptists push back lostness in North America, we know that a church cannot be healthy if its pastor is not healthy. That is why we are committed to helping pastors. Please help us spread the word about the Pastor Care Line and our other resources.
“A church cannot be healthy if its pastor is not healthy.” How true Michael’s words are!
Yet sadly, research from the Schaeffer Institute suggests there are many pastors who aren’t doing well. About 90 percent of pastors surveyed at a conference some time ago stated they are “frequently fatigued and worn out on a weekly and even daily basis.” About 71 percent of them reported feeling burned out.
As you can see, there’s a real need for Christians to rally around their pastors and provide prayers, love and practical help. As 1 Timothy 5:17 says, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”
Clergy Appreciation Month is a great time to give “double honor” to those who sacrificially serve our families. You can find more information and ideas to help your church celebrate your pastors in our free Clergy Appreciation Month guide.
As for NAMB’s pastoral care line that Focus is powering? Please pray that God will use this resource to help and bless our pastors.
The health of our churches depends on it.