Church Leadership Lab is a podcast that seeks to empower healthy churches. Through conversations, interviews, and stories, we explore what's happening in ministry today and how pastors and leaders can navigate what lies ahead.
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The past three years have been challenging for many church leaders. Issues with the global pandemic, racial justice, and our current culture make the job of being a pastor all the more difficult.
With every controversial issue happening within the past three years, the mental health of some pastors is low. Leaders struggle to maintain the tension of unity within their congregation while caring for people who passionately advocate for different views.
Conflict is inevitable, and the toll that ministry has created for pastors has brought many to a moment of crisis. Many church leaders are stepping away due to being overwhelmed and uncertain about how to continue.
What are helpful ways to navigate through this mental crisis? Jason Kovacs of Gospel Care Collective gave helpful wisdom for this in a recent podcast episode. He shared that one key way to help is just to listen.
Many pastors seek a safe place to share, feel empathy, and process their current struggles. Listening helps the individual to not feel alone amid their stress and anxiety.
Jason also shared that another critical way to care for those struggling is to seek ways to serve them. Asking, “What do you need?” and allowing them time to process can open up space for healing. Church leaders can find healing when given space to share and feel heard and supported.
As a church leader, it can be difficult to be vulnerable with others due to the fear of losing respect or being viewed differently. It can feel risky and scary to open up to others, but it’s incredibly important.
Jason shared during the conversation that when church leaders are able to move towards trusted relationships and community, they’ll be able to let others in and have honest conversations. Having a space to be open can allow pastors to feel the freedom to be human.
During the conversation, Jason shared three questions that church leaders can ask themselves to help reflect on their mental and emotional health.
Consider these three questions:
When we seek to ask questions, listen, and process our feelings we can find healing to our deepest hurts and struggles.
The Gospel Care Collective is a team of professional Christian counselors that do gospel-centered clinically informed counseling. Many have been pastors themselves and seek to help other church leaders find healing and mental health.
They provide a confidential, safe place for leaders to process trauma, struggles, and life issues. They also assist pastors in planning out sabbaticals to ensure rest, reorientation, renewal, and re-entry into ministry in a healthy way. Learn more about Gospel Care Collective at https://www.gospelcarecollective.com/.
“Starting with asking questions is biblical, relational and healing.” -Jason Kovaks
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“To be known and loved is our greatest longing, but also one of our greatest fears to go to that place.” -Jason Kovaks
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“When we are in the most desperate moments, those may be the most spiritually faithful filled experiences of our life.” -Jason Kovaks
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