Pastors and their work

Though October was pastor appreciation month, there is still time to thank your pastor for how he serves your family and your congregation. There are always opportunities for people to recognize and honor the work of their ministers, pastors or priests across the country, to express gratitude for one of the toughest jobs around.

The call to pastoral ministry has its unique benefits and challenges. The Barna group, in partnership with Pepperdine University conducted a major study of how Protestant senior pastors in the U.S. navigate life and leadership in an age of complexity.

Though Barna has previously covered pastors’ cultural credibility, their experiences and timing of the call to ministry, the aging of pastors and the health of pastors’ relationships. Now, in an effort to acknowledge the risks and rewards of being a church leader today, this infographic examines the general wellbeing of pastors: Are they satisfied with their quality of life? How is their physical, emotional and spiritual health? Are they motivated and supported, or do they struggle with exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy? Take a look below:

Overall, pastors tend to be more satisfied with their lives than the general population, even more than most Christians. Not just that, they tend to be physically healthy, spiritually content, and feel strong emotionally. And they are deeply satisfied with and motivated by their work.

However, there are stressors as well. Though pastors consider themselves to be well supported by family and community, they may feel inadequate to the task or emotionally and mentally exhausted. These things are keys to how we can help support our pastors. A word of encouragement, a vacation, a chance to meet with other pastors – all of these things can help pastors to overcome the stresses that can come with the job.

So, in addition to honoring your pastors and expressing your gratitude, if you’re in a position of leadership, you have an opportunity to make sure your pastor gets encouragement, rest, and a sabbath rest to celebrate a a job well done.

Photo: Ben White, Unsplash

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