It seems obvious, but many church-goers may not realize that how they relate to each other and to their pastor are major factors in the pastor's mental health and work environment. A study of 1,500 ministers in the Duke Clergy Health Initiative Longitudinal Survey revealed that 28 percent of ministers said "they had at one time been forced to leave their jobs because of personal attacks and criticism from a small fraction of their congregations." On the other hand, the study also suggested ways church-goers could contribute to the health and well-being of their minister. This article could serve as a discussion prompter for deacons, elders and lay leaders who want to support their minister and offer congregants practical suggestions for showing appreciation to the pastor year-round.
Curated by Carole Wills