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The Need: Invest in Comprehensive Pastoral Self-Care

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others…”

Parker Palmer

Palmer, P. (2000). Let Your Life Speak. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons. 30.

Rates of clinical depression among clergy run up to 2x that of the general population (between 8.7% and 11.1% vs. 5.5%).

Proeschold-Bell, R. J., & Byassee, J. (2018). Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 37.

70% of pastors have lower self-esteem since beginning ministry.  

Beebe, R. (2007). Predicting Burnout, Conflict Management Style, and Turnover Among Clergy. Journal of Career Assessment, 15(2), 257. Referencing The Leadership Situation Facing American Congregations (September 2001).  Alban Institute.

The data is compelling – there is a true crisis in the pastorate today: a crisis in comprehensive pastoral health. Clergy face increasing expectations, declining congregations and budgets (in many cases), and a blurring of boundaries between their professional and personal lives. This all creates an environment that negatively impacts physical, emotional, relational, familial and spiritual health and well-being.

  • How are the demands of your pastorate impacting your health and relationships?

  • How have you prioritized investing energy to strengthen and sustain your own health and well-being?

  • What commitment do you want to make to your self-care?

“Truly, one cannot fill glasses from an empty pitcher. In order to adequately provide care for those with whom I’ve been entrusted, I must first care for myself.”

– Angela Barker Jackson

Olson, R., Rosell, R., Marsh, N., & Jackson, A. (2018). A Guide to Ministry Self-Care. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 189.

Learn more about Northern ELM Mentoring Group’s unique approach to accompanying pastors as they address leadership and management challenges that they may face in their callings.

Learn more about Northern ELM Mentoring Group’s leadership & management mentoring program, pastoral self-care workshops, and lay advocacy seminars.

Learn more about Silver Bay YMCA Pastoral Respite Program and spiritual direction resources​.

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