As pastors and other church leaders face increasingly complex and stressful challenges, the words of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20 ring relevant:
“…take heed to yourselves…” On the whole, many leaders do not access this counsel.
Many in ministry today would score themselves as “floundering” rather than “flourishing” in ministry. Much of the stress of ministry isn’t new. It’s always been complex and always been one of the most difficult jobs in the world to do well.
One person has noted that, while many pastors have a good grasp of their pastoral role, they struggle with allowing themselves to be human. I wonder, as you read this, if that might be true of you?
We see burnout in ministry at alarming numbers, pubic pastoral failures at disheartening rates, and the unseen “little foxes” eating at the pastor’s family in ways that will only come to light in years to come as our children grow up. Much of this has come from pastor’s who don’t “take heed to themselves.”
At First Coast Churches, we don’t want you to lead in isolation. You will hear us say many times over, “Don’t Pastor Alone.” We need friends, brothers-in-arms, and Christian fellowship from others who are in the same battles as we are. At FCC you will find people who care about you and your ministry.
Leaders who lead healthy churches are themselves growing people. The ENRICH team exists to assist you in leadership development and personal growth. We never get too old or learn too much to stop growing. Learning to lean on other leaders is the optimal way to grow. Don’t pastor alone.
Who shepherds the shepherd? Through the ENRICH arm of FCC, we want to provide you with an opportunity to retreat, recharge and refocus your ministry. While a sabbatical may not be something you have thought about doing before, we would like to help shape, inform and assist financially to make a period of sabbatical possible. Don’t pastor alone.
Ministry can challenge and stress our marriages. One of the findings of a recent Lifeway study of pastoral wellness reported on the health of ministerial marriages. Many reported dissatisfaction in pastoral relationships because of the demands placed on the home. If your marriage is struggling, we want to help. Don’t pastor alone.
At the end of the day, what matters most is our own personal relationship with Jesus. We are responsible for having a growing, healthy and mature spiritual walk with the Lord. Unfortunately, many sacrifice a rich time with the shepherd of our souls in the name of taking care of others. But if you aren’t taking care of the most important part of your life, no one else will. The ENRICH team wants to provide ways for you and your staff team to personally lean in to your spiritual welfare. Don’t pastor alone.
For some, the pressures of ministry bring to the surface problems and unresolved issues in the pastor’s personal life. These pressures can sometimes lead to depression, anger, conflict or other damaging emotions. If you find yourself at a place where you recognize these issues coming to the surface, we can help you process through them. Don’t pastor alone.
Your role as a pastor and church leader is significant, now more than ever. Our prayer is that we can help you be effective as a leader and be as spiritually and emotionally healthy as possible. Don’t pastor alone. There’s a team ready and willing to walk with you.
Reach out to us at FCC. The ENRICH teams wants to be a resource to your most effective days of ministry ever!