“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
It’s safe to say we’re all weary and in need of rest—the past few years haven’t been easy on anyone—but the 2020s have been especially trying for those who work in ministry.
Throughout these recent months, Pastors and clergy have had to pivot to online teaching, adding “tech support” to an already exhaustive list of credentials, while navigating ever-changing CDC guidelines and prayerfully considering what is best for their congregation. Many churches have seen a decrease in giving, forcing ministry leaders to make impossible decisions about everything from lease agreements to staffing. For some, attendance has been slow to bounce back.
Saying it has been difficult is an understatement; 38% of pastors thought about quitting ministry in 2021, according to Barna Group.
But, dear pastors, you didn’t quit, and we’re so grateful. You continue to serve when we most need your spiritual guidance, thoughtful advice, and never-ceasing prayer.
Thank you, pastors, spiritual leaders, and ministry workers. We at MAA acknowledge the challenging role you’re in and want to extend our truest gratitude for following God’s path as you minister to those around you.
We also want to remind you to take care of yourself.
Burnout is real. We humbly ask that you take time to prioritize your health, sleep, and stress levels at the very least, perhaps even taking an outdoor stroll now and again. Your congregants need you to take care of yourself.
If you’re already feeling burnout, stress, or could generally use a boost in wellbeing, MAA recommends Full Strength Network, one of our ministry partners. Full Strength Network exists to “help ministry leaders discover full strength in wellbeing in areas like richer spiritual health, deeper relationships, and increased leadership capacity.”
Their site has excellent resources, even if only to remind you that you are not alone.
We promise to pray for you, too.
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, caring for our spiritual and physical needs by bringing them before God. In turn, we promise to remember you in our prayers.
And to anyone reading this who isn’t in ministry, we invite you to join us in showering our pastors with appreciation throughout the month of October.
In addition to praying for your pastor, consider these other tokens of gratitude that they might also enjoy:
• A gift card to their favorite restaurant
• A free night of childcare
• A helping hand with something around the house, like cleaning the gutters or raking the leaves
• A note of encouragement
Pastors, we hope you feel loved and appreciated this month. May God bless you and keep you!