I submitted the following article on Friday for the Waseca County News (published next Thursday?) as part of my duties as a member of the Waseca Ministerial Association. Then today Justin Taylor linked to a blog post by Justin Childers that is probably even better than my article on this subject.

Today I would like to share with you some things my more experienced (and likely wiser) peers are unlikely to share with you.

• 80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse and that ministry has a negative effect on their family.
• 40 percent report a serious conflict with a parishioner once a month.
• 33 percent say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
• 75 percent report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
• 45 percent of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and family is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual burnout.
• 21 percent of pastors’ wives want more privacy.
• Pastors who work fewer than 50 hours a week are 35 percent more likely to be terminated.
• 40 percent of pastors considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months.
Source: “Pastors At Greater Risk” by H.B London Jr. and Neil Wiseman, Regal Books, 2003
As a new pastor, these statistics are scary. As a person who has spent his whole life going to church they are even more frightening. So how can you help your pastors? One of the best ways is to pray for them.

Pray for your pastor on Sunday night and Monday morning. This is when your pastor is likely most depleted. After the church empties, and the adrenaline rush from leading/teaching/preaching wears off we are sapped and vulnerable.

Pray for your pastor on Saturday nights. There are times when most pastors endure little or no sleep on these nights. We have a tough message to bring, a challenge to face, or perhaps our week was chaotic and we just don’t feel fully ready to bring the message God has given us to speak.

Pray for your pastor daily. Simply put, we need it. Pray that God would strengthen us. Pray that we would be leaders of integrity. Pray for our health, emotional, physical and psychological. Pray that God is working on us, in us, and through us.

Pray for your pastor when they come to your mind. If you are driving down the road, and your pastor pops into your mind, pray for them. The Holy Spirit knows when people need prayer. I cannot tell you how many times God has brought someone to my mind, and I found out later that something was going on that they needed prayer for.

Encourage your pastor, and tell them you are praying for them. They are doing the same for you!

Romans 12:12 says: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Amen.

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