Our pastors and church leaders are a gift of God to us, instructing and guiding us in the ways of the Lord. They encourage us, correct us, and deeply care for us. And yet they are often misunderstood, harassed, and even persecuted.
We must remember that caring for the souls of others must not justify the neglect of our souls.
Richard Parrish Ministries attends to the soul care of pastors, leaders, and learners—locally and globally. I’m aware of the struggles they are hesitant to share with others and the pressures they face outwardly, and inwardly.
We love to look at the ministry of Jesus, observing how he takes time to listen to people and heal, love, and care for them. But we frequently gloss over the accounts recorded in Scripture where Jesus takes respite in the wilderness to be with His Father.
Respite is not an occasional “break from ministry.” It’s an essential, regular practice of Jesus to take time to care for his soul.
The smiling faces we see on Sunday and the positive attitudes of our pastors each week often disguise discouragement. Research studies and statistics on pastors confirm this.
Here’s a short list of research highlights:
75% of pastors report being “extremely stressed” or “highly stressed” (1)
90% feel fatigued and worn out every week (1)
80% will not be in ministry ten years later, and only a fraction will make it a lifelong career (1).
91% have experienced some form of burnout in ministry (7)
70% constantly fight depression (2)
Have you prayed for your pastor this week? Consider making prayer for them a priority. Ask that God would strengthen them, refresh them, and protect them from the snares of sin and the devil. “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).
Through retreat settings, RMP is privileged to teach and train pastors, leaders, and learners to care for themselves so they can care for others. Last fall (2023), in an undisclosed retreat location in Uzbekistan, several pastors told me that “this retreat is the first time we have seen other pastors in over three years.” Many of our pastors/leaders in Uzbekistan serve in isolated areas miles from others.
Please remember to pray for your pastors and church leaders, as well those serving and sharing the Gospel around the world. And thank you for your prayers and financial support to our ministry.
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