As Pastors and Ministers, we have had opportunities to experience the highs of ministry and being used by God to bring healing in many situations. Unfortunately, on the flip side, many pastors have difficulty fighting through the challenges of ministry. The expectation is that the pastor would never reach the depths of depression, but persevere despite all challenges.
According to Dr. Marc Rultand, here are the top ten causes of depression that pastors face*:
- The Fear of Failure
- Rebellious opposition
- Mental and Physical fatigue
- Stress: usually financial
- Accumulated hurt
- Anger and unresolved inner issues
This is what Marc Rutland, known for his work with Calvary Assembly in Orlando, President of Southeastern University and President of Oral Roberts University had to say about this list he authored (link below): “That is the big ten as I have observed them, not in some distant, statistical study, but up close and personal. I know I am not unique or even rare in this experience. I have occasionally struggled with depression, more circumstantial than clinical though not altogether, throughout my forty-six years of ministry. I have known dark moments and personal failures. I have been deeply disappointed in myself and struggled at times to stay in the ministry, or even to feel that I should stay in the ministry. In one truly terrible season, only the grace of God through my wife, two friends that refused to let me quit, and the wise and anointed help of a trained counselor kept me in the work.”
There are two points in my sharing of this article. The first one is to rally believers to pray for their pastor and other church pastors. The pastors of our local communities and/or cities need our prayers and I hope that you will join in and pray for them and all of the challenges pastors face. Second, that we would encourage Pastors in their ministry. Encouragement is the opposite of discouragement, which leads to depression. Our words, participation and prayers can make a significant difference in the life and ministry of a local pastor. May God bless all pastors as they continue in their calling to share the compassion of God and the gospel message with their congregation, community and world. Will you join in and respond with prayer and encouragement?
Check out my recent articles on pastors: 7 Ways I Helped a Pastor in Distress, and Eight Characteristics of Emotionally Healthy Pastors.
* Original Top Ten Causes Post of Depression posted by Marc Rutland from the National Institute of Christian Leadership. Link here: The Antidote for Poison Berries.