At Fountains of Life we use a phrase often: Healthy pastors make healthy churches. But let’s unfold this a little.
What do we mean by “healthy”? This is not necessarily looking at the physical health of pastors, though that’s important too, but about their skills in dealing with relationships — particularly family and congregations.
First of all, the core of a pastor is his family. They need to be fed and nourished. Demonstrating love, attention, affection, appreciation, and spending quality time with them — or the lack thereof — determines the health of their families. If the spouse and children feel cared for, they are more likely to be supportive and willingly helpful in the ministry. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Secondly, the sheep need to feel cared for also. A congregation is simply an extension of the core family — “brothers and sisters” in Christ. However, that does not mean that a pastor is at the beck-and-call of everyone. Being able to set good boundaries, balance sermon preparations with hospital calls, and not getting into “saving” his or her people can be difficult. After all, they are “servants” of the Lord. But they are not saviors. Only Jesus is. However, with good hearts, they try and soon burn out working so hard. And, yes, they also have normal pressures like bills to pay, mouths to feed.
Pastoring is extremely challenging. Statistics show that 50% of them consider quitting about every 3 months and 70% have lost self-esteem since commencing pastoring. Conflicts constantly happen in their parishes and at home. Their jobs are based on emotional, relational, and communicational skills, plus spiritual factors.
This is where we help. Our trainings encourage them, primarily, that they are unconditionally loved. They don’t have to DO something for God to love them. And when they get this, we invite them to share it with their families, then their churches. We want to see whole, robust, vigorous, fresh, lively, flourishing, unimpaired — healthy — pastors. And when we do, we will see healthy churches.
And for you sheep out there, pray for your pastor. Love them, cherish them, and don’t pull on them. They’re people like us, just with more accountability to God for watching over you. Give them time with their families and spouse to rest and rejuvenate. You’ll church will see the difference.
(If you’re interested in having us speak at your church or train your leadership in ministering
the Father’s Love contact us.)