Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Long-Term Care of Pastors: Encourage Your Shepherd!

I was glad to see this week a new initiative from the South Carolina Baptist Convention regarding the health of pastors, though I am saddened by the reality of the need.  The Baptist Courier, South Carolina's newspaper for Southern Baptists, published a cover-story article about a health-initiative for pastors.  Sadly, in the past seven years, seven SCBC pastors have committed suicide.  One of those pastors served in our association for a few years; he left behind a wife and four children. 

In January of 2010, The Courier ran an article about depression among pastors: When Pastors' Silent Suffering Turns Tragic.  They said that the article generated more reader response than any article in recent Courier history.  The newspaper still has a link to the article on its home page today.

This month is set aside by some as Pastor Appreciation Month (I was blessed this past Sunday by our congregation's surprising me with a pastor-appreciation luncheon at church).  Take some time to encourge a pastor in your life. 

H. B. London, founder of the Pastoral Ministries and Pastor to Pastor broadcasts at Focus on the Family, shared an article on his blog this month about how a congregation can care for their pastor long-term.  (You will have to scroll down to the October 8 listing.) 

Partner with your pastor.  Encourage him as he encourages you in the Lord.  Remember the exhortation of Hebrews 3:12-13, See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving hearts that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

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