The Florida Times-Union published a lengthy story yesterday on clergy burnout and how to avoid it. The story quotes these troubling statistics: 80 percent of clergy say their job negatively affects their families and almost 60 percent say they would leave ministry if they had another vocation.
We’d like to hear from clergy among our readership about what wears you down and how you attempt to take care of yourself. If you are experiencing a vocational crisis and want to comment anonymously, we can make that work.
Here is one of the more revealing passages from the story, which also focuses on the need for clergy to better communicate the time-consuming nature of much of their work, and on the need to set healthy boundaries.
It also comes from a growing belief that pastors should be the personal counselors of each member of the congregation, who tend to call their pastor at the slightest experience of stress.
“Most people can’t discern between a need and a want,” he said, adding that many “crises” are just a desire to pick the pastor’s brain for a problem they’ve encountered.
“The problem is that pastors develop a martyr complex and kill themselves for the sake of wants, not needs.”