It’s no secret that the last two-plus years have been extremely difficult for pastors. During that time they’ve ministered through a pandemic, dealt with political divisions and endured numerous other pressures that have been magnified.
The stress has been so great that 42% of pastors admitted to giving serious consideration to quitting full-time ministry in the past year alone, according to the results of recent research by the Barna Group. Stress, loneliness and the current political climate were among the top reasons pastors gave for thinking about leaving ministry.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and if there’s ever a time we need to let our pastors know we appreciate them, it’s now. That’s one of the reasons we’ve devoted the bulk of the content of this month’s magazine to pastors and pastoral ministry.
Yes, we acknowledge the difficulties and challenges, but we also share some stories of how some veteran North Carolina pastors have battled burnout to find joy in ministry. In addition to their stories, we also share some ways that churches can support and express appreciation to their pastors as they deal with the pressures and stress of ministry.
I have often been guilty of viewing pastors as spiritual superheroes who are somehow different than I am. The more time I spend with pastors, however, the more I learn that they are just like me in many ways. They struggle with sin, have wants and needs, possess hopes and dreams, deal with doubt, and need encouragement.
So pray for your pastors and their families, seek to be a help to them rather than a hindrance, and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Here’s a heartfelt “Thank you” to all the pastors faithfully serving the Lord and seeking to love and lead their respective congregations. May God’s blessings be upon you and your ministry.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Austin is managing editor of the Biblical Recorder.)