Being a pastor is rated as one of the most hazardous jobs. Many suffer from burnout. The use of antidepressants among pastors is increasing, while their life expectancy decreases. To give you a peek into the life of a pastor, check out the following statistics:
- 25% don’t know where to turn to with personal conflict
- 33% feel burned out within first 5 years of pastoral ministry
- 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job
- 52% of pastors and their families believe that being a pastor has been hazardous to the family’s well being and to their health
- 56% of pastors’ wives say they have no close friends
- 57% would leave the pastrate if they had somewhere else to go
- 70% do not have close friends
- 75% report stress, anxiety, alienation, depression, anguish, worry, anger, and fear
- 80% say they have insignificant time with spouse
- 90% feel unqualified
- 90% are burning out because they are working 50-70 hours a week
You may be thinking, well that is unfortunate for pastors, but how does this affect me Pastor Muriu? I’m here to say that it does affect you and everyone else alike! We are all on the verge of burnout! Our work habits have become unhealthy. As a result, we too, will become “insufficient” leaders. You cannot take care of others, if you cannot take care of yourself.
My dear friends, there is hope. I have five self-care practices I believe we can incorporate into our lives in order to become healthier leaders.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. - Romans 12:1
The first practice is to take a retreat regularly. It is important to recognize when to take a break and get away. Retreating:
Allows you space to be alone with God
Provides you with a healthier spiritual life
Allows time to learn, listen, and grow with God
Helps you maintain a proper perspective on life
Allows you time to define visions for the future
Helps you to maintain focus and sanity
It doesn’t matter how busy you are, there is always time for God. Even Jesus retreated regularly, and He was the busiest man of all. Even though it wasn’t easy for Him, He still did it! A good leader doesn’t live a busy life, a good leader lives a reflective life.
Join us for the other four self-care practices next week.