Working on a Dream




Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to Save your Pastor's Life.

Go ahead and Google search this phrase, "pastors and depression" or "pastors and anxiety." You will find that being in the ministry ranks among the highest of all professions in terms of stress, pressure on one's family, and health issues.

So if you are the type that loves your pastor, and wants to do something to help protect and ensure that they stay a while in the ministry, here is some helpful advice.

Recently I read a book titled "Who's got your Back" by Keith Ferrazzi. In the book he highlights the fact that every professional person needs two people in their lives in order to be successful.

A mentor relationship and a lifeline relationship.

A mentor is important because it involves surrounding yourself with a person that is more seasoned in your area of business than you are. Usually a mentor is someone that is older, wiser, and has been around the block (several times). In short, they have the privilege of offering you seasoned advice from the vantage of hindsight.

The other important relationship, the lifeline relationship, is a bit different.
Again, the mentor is someone that is older and wiser; while the lifeline relationship is different because this person is your peer. A lifeline relationship is basically between equals. This could be other coworkers, old college friends that are in the same business or season in life, or it could be a wise friend that you dialogue with about your work.

Both are very important in the life of a pastor. Let me tell you with absolute honesty; if it were not for the mentors in my life there is no way that I would be the person that I am today.
Biblically speaking, think of how Barnabas in the book of Acts was a mentor to Paul or how Paul himself was a mentor to young Timothy. In both cases it took an older, wiser person to take under their wing someone less mature but at the same time eager to learn. If I were a betting man, I would bet that most pastors have had their share of mentors.

This is why in order to save the life of your pastor you need to find him a lifeline relationship. Your pastor needs to have a person that is a peer, a person that he can come and talk to and share his heart with. Put yourself in the shoes of the minister, who often times is put on a very high pedestal by his congregation. Many times this is precisely what leads to the anxiety, depression and stress in his life. Not having anyone to turn to, he keeps his struggles within his own heart.

The irony of it all is that he will spend much of his time sitting across people that share all their insecurities, hurts and personal struggles; yet after days, months or years, no one ever thinks that the person sitting across from them, the Pastor, has any needs.

The lifeline relationship is absolutely vital for the minister.

I wonder if you, reading this right now, would offer yourself as a genuine lifeline to your pastor? Someone that has no other agenda than to absorb some of his concerns, absorb some of his pain, and listen as he bears his heart.

1 comment:

Nelly said...

Very True And Rarely Mentioned. Thanks For Writing About ThIs!