Please follow this link and read yesterday's timely (for us) nytimes article on clergey burnout. What we are doing together as a class combats clergy burnout. We are not going to be much good for God if we flame out.
The flame, the fire, is to be found in connecting with God's Spirit, in God's presence.
Here are some points and quotes from the nytimes article.
- Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans.
- In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen, while their life expectancy has fallen.
- A Duke University study finds: "Compared with neighbors in their census tracts, the ministers reported significantly higher rates of arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. Obesity was 10 percent more prevalent in the clergy group."
- Many pastors would change jobs if they could.
- Many pastors have become unhealthy and unhappy.
Many pastors never take a day off, or take a vacation.
- “Time away can bring renewal and help prevent burnout.”
- There is "a growing counterculture among independent pastors who reject the constant-growth ethic that has contributed to the explosion of so-called mega-churches."
- A contemplative lifestyle combats spiritual burnout.