I have been a pastor for over 23 years. I know the price that pastors and their families pay to fulfill the calling of God on their life. I have experienced burnout and depression first hand; it is the dirty little secret that many pastors are afraid to admit.
One pastor might be afraid to let his congregation know that he is often feeling depressed, lonely and isolated. A pastor can be amongst people all the time and still feel this way. Another pastor might legitimately feel that any revelation of his problems, or his family’s problem, could endanger his career and income. There are many more fears that pastors have. Some of these fears are legitimate while others are just misconceptions that end up keeping pastors in the cycle of burnout and depression.
In future blogs, I hope to write about some of the misconceptions that keep pastors from getting professional help when it is needed. I have run into pastors who were dealing with such things as chronic and potentially life threatening illnesses, marriage problems, and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies. This may be hard to believe but let me assure you it is out there and more prevalent than you might think. I became so convinced of the clergy need, after my own experience, that I became a professional counselor so I could help pastors and others who struggle with such things as burnout and depression. Please feel free to read my story as well as the article I wrote concerning burnout and depression among clergy. I hope it helps some one out there who has just about given up. Believe me, if I got help you can too! I am praying for you!!