Many religious leaders are under constant stress from a variety of pressures: long hours in pastoral care, administrative duties, unrealistic expectations (their own and those they serve), financial strain and difficult relationships, to name only a few. As a result, the prolonged stress of unresolved or recurrent issues can threaten the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of even the most capable religious leaders. In a recent study of 936 United Methodist Ministers in North Carolina, associate research professor of global health at Duke University, Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and her colleagues made an important discovery. Factors which decrease the likelihood of mental health problems are not necessarily the same as those which promote positive mental health. The research revealed factors unique to clergy positive mental health and how these can prevent psychological and physical illnesses. Both clergy and lay leaders would benefit from reading and discussing this article in order to promote clergy health and a positive ministry environment.
Curated by Carole Wills