Pastors, the spiritual shepherds of the faithful, are not supposed to burn out. Ministry leaders, the CEOs in charge of efficient organizations, are not allowed to feel low. Christians, especially Christian leaders, must never be depressed.
Right? Not quite.
There are more of such Christian leaders than you think who some time or the other wanted to run away from the Lord’s work, from something they once gave their whole heart to.
And this may happen when all seems well with the church, when the ministry is flourishing.
Depression is occupational hazard for a pastor too. According to an estimate, as much as 80 percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
When a New York Times article probed the issue last year, it pointed out that pastors were expected to be available to help people 24/7. And with cellphones and social media, members of the clergy are more stress-proned than ever.
A researcher mentioned in the article said that her pastor hadn’t had any time off from his vocation for nearly two decades.
The article titled, “Taking a Break From the Lord’s Work,” suggested as the solution to take time off.
The question, however, remains: what do they do once the break is over?
In a recent post on The Gospel Coalition blog, Paul Tripp, the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, said he was convinced that there are important changes needed in pastoral culture and shared four “potential setups of this discouragement/depression cycle in ministry.”
1. Unrealistic Expectations
2. Family Tensions
3. Fear of Man
4. Kingdom Confusion
Trip says: “Depression in the pastor may be set up by the culture that surrounds him, but it is a disease of the heart.”
He suggests a cure too.
Read the full article here.