Exhausted church leaders

Being a church leader is a real challenge and it is essential to realise that the task is endless, the needs definitely outstrip supply and the difficulties are persistent. The challenge of spotting and supporting people who are particularly vulnerable is tough, especially those who are experiencing depression or anxiety and tend to withdraw from contact. This can make leaders feel frustrated and deficient.If you are an exhausted leader we are here to help and encourage you. Remember that if your resources are depleted continually and not replenished your work will become much harder to cope with. We are here to lighten the load by being a place of support and understanding for you, both in your concerns for others and your own personal needs.

By raising this issue some of us will be thinking...Oh great now they want us to do specialist ministry or courses for people with mental or emotional health problems. Just so you know...this is not the case. We want to make your ministry easier and not harder. It might be that in the future you do develop some specialist ministry in this area, but much more importantly in the normal pastoral parameters of your ministry mental and emotional issues will already be a serious draw on your time. As a leader of a large church myself I guess that about 20% of my time is in ministry directly relating to this area. Even this morning i was counselling a young woman contemplating suicide.

Unfortunately much of the training we have received at college or through our diocese or church affiliations will have little direct or practical relationship with mental health issues. Here at Mind and Soul we are going on a journey to help to equip you more deeply. We understand the pressures of ministry and mental health and want to help you not exhaust you.

See our related Podcast Episode on this topic.
Will Van Der Hart, 29/04/2010