Monday, November 11, 2013

sabbath

Being married to a man who pastors 2 churches, sabbath rest is really bard to find.
Saturday we are at the schul, Sunday at the church. We try to eek out lil bits here and there.
Friday nights all the electronics turn off. They stay off til late Saturday afternoon. Dinner at home, together. But it can all change in a moment. Last minute dropins at the church office keep him late, dinner gets cold...dried out...or worse. Some one has an emergency and the only person who can help is the guy Iam married to.

There are days I get a bit angry, even days I get really angry. I knew I would have to share him and his time. But does it have to be every month? Week? Day?

This is when we decide we will have anannversary get away. Which is not easy with 8 people living on our income. A campervan, a few groceries and an off season camp spot, which means cold in these mountains. But there are no cell signals. And a sky full of stars.
We have learned a nite away really is not worth the effort. It takes more than 36 hrs to calm down the noise of responsibility and the chaos of the schedules we keep. 4 nights and 5 days.

Now here comes the next problem.
It seems if a congregation knows he is going away, they do not show up for services.
Numbers go down, offerings are down.
So even after a great weekend relaxing there is guilt to return to. It is like a small child and abandonment issues! He ofcourse feels guilty for leaving, which means the rejuvination we had hoped to find, is sucked out the window.

 Is the commitment to :
God
Denomination
A body of believers
A building
Or to the man wo preaches?
Is it a healthy relationship? Are you more dependent on the man in the pulpit or the Man Who holds the world in His Hands?

This is some of what causes the burn out that causes people to quit, give up and runaway from ministry.
1,700 pastors leave ministry each month?!

The Barna Group reports that

90% of pastors report working between 55- 75 hours per week

50% of pastors report feeling unable to meet the demands of their jobs

70% constantly fight depression

50% of pastors starting out will not last 5 years

50% of pastors’ marriages end in divorce

70% of pastors do not have a close friend

Ellison Research reports that according to the results of their study:

71% of pastors say that they are overweight by an average of 32.1 pounds

52% say that they experience signs of stress on a weekly basis

Other statistics note that pastors’ physical health is comparatively worse than others in the areas in which they live, while pastor’s mental health is likewise riddled with increased symptoms of clinical depression, anxiety, stress and burnout.

Do you actually pray for your pastor? What about his wife? You know the woman who is too perfect and intimidating but always fails to meet your expectations?
How about their kids, the"PKs"? They are the ones there an hour before and after services, the ones setting up chairs, waiting endlessly in cars for their dad to stop talking and get them lunch.
Serving is hard. It may not be the same obstacles and struggles as foreign missions, but each day is a battle.

I want church to not become a bad word to my kids. Does any one have words of wisdom? Did your marriage and family survive church life? How?


2 comments:

Kim Degener said...

Thank you for writing that wonderful post. You're right, it's easy to forget that it's not just the the pastor himself that sacrifices, it's the whole family. I'll definitely be more diligent in my prayer prayer commitment to all of them.

Kim Degener said...

Thank you for writing that wonderful post. You're right, it's easy to forget that it's not just the the pastor himself that sacrifices, it's the whole family. I'll definitely be more diligent in my prayer prayer commitment to all of them.