Why Every Pastor Needs A Therapist

I recently posted a blog (Got Clarity? Part 1) where I talked about the need for pastors to gain an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstance. I mentioned that in order to get an accurate understanding of yourself, it’s helpful to have a therapist. I’ll expand on that thought a bit and give two reasons why every Pastor needs a therapist.

Pastors are no different than anyone
One thing I’ve learned about Pastors – once you look past their exterior, they’re human. Pastors deal with the same emotions, fears, and insecurities as anyone. The Bible says “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”(Jeremiah 17:9). We all need help in figuring out our heart’s motivation, navigating the storms of life, and maintaining basic mental health, even if you’re a pastor.

For example, I know of a church that holds an annual, county-wide Mental Health Summit. Every fall, over 500 mental health professionals and concerned community leaders from county agencies, local police departments, educators, and the faith community all come together to discuss mental health issues and the stigma that is often associated with them. From the turnout, it’s clear that many in our communities, including Christians and Christian leaders, can benefit from intentionally pursuing mental health.

Pastors are very different from everyone
therapy1
Even though in some ways, Pastors are just like everyone else, they are very different in many, many ways. The role of Pastor is extremely unique and has many distinctive characteristics that make the job unlike any other. There’s a unique spiritual element that brings spiritual attack from the enemy. And there’s also the perceived need to be a great preacher, compassionate counselor, strong leader, wise mentor, dynamic vision caster, eloquent communicator, Biblical theologian, and frugal financial manager. That’s a lot of pressure and even though Pastors are typically very gifted, no one can do it all.
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Got Clarity? (part 2)

Clarity_3In my last post – Got Clarity? (part 1), – I talked about the need for clarity and gaining an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstance. Today I will address clarity of systems. Ministry systems can get bogged down due to lack of precision, so today I will focus on 3 key areas of ministry that truly need clarity.

Communications
You have a piece of important information you need to run by your superior before a monthly meeting. But it took longer than expected for you to complete. Now you find your supervisor is out of the office until after the meeting. So your project is on hold for a month until your whole team can communicate on this one item.

Sound familiar? In my 29 years of ministry, I’ve often seen poor communication systems slowing ministry progress. Solution: Intentionally formalize your communication strategy. Don’t rely on hallway conversations or last-minute emails to confirm important information. Set up a system to organize your inner-office communications. But everyone needs to participate, or it won’t work.
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