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My-Pastor Minute, Issue #010 - Ministering to Your Hurting Pastor
March 12, 2008
1,500 pastors leave their churches every month in the United States because of conflict, burnout, or moral failure. Help keep your pastor from becoming part of that statistic. Use every available resource to encourage, support, and partner with your pastor. This ezine and give you a good start toward effectively ministering to your minister.


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Date: March 12, 2008

Issue Number 010

Table of Contents:

  • Pastor Appreciation Idea: How Do You Minister to A Hurting Pastor?
  • Gift Idea: A Book for a Hurting Pastor
  • What's New at


Pastor Appreciation Idea: Ministering to a Hurting Pastor

Pastors are supposed to be strong for everyone else. But who will be strong for them when they experience a loss or hurt in their life? In our years of ministry my wife and I endured two miscarriages, a failed adoption, severe burnout, serious church conflict, hospitalizations and serious illness of family members.

These, of course, are major hurts. There are many lesser hurts as well - challenges we all face.

When someone receives bad news from a doctor, your pastor is there. When a loved one dies, your pastor supports you. When your spouse has surgery, your pastor encourages you.

But who does this for your pastor?

I'd like to take the next two My-Pastor Minute newsletters and share a little from a pastor's perspective so that you will be able to better minister to your pastor and family when they are hurting. Next month I will give some basic ways you can help.

But before you can help, you need to know when your pastor is hurting - and he or she won't always announce it from the pulpit.

How Can You Tell When Your Pastor Is Hurting?

  1. He may hint at it from the pulpit. It's hard to not talk about the stress in your life. The more you try to avoid the subject the more it screams for attention. If you listen carefully you might hear your pastor's hidden pain leak out as he is preaching.
  2. He may tell his close friends and/or church leaders. Don't pry to get private information. Simply mention to a church leader that you are wondering if your pastor is in pain - you don't necessarily need to know the circumstances - you just want to pray for and encourage him.
  3. His face and eyes may tell a story. Some people's facial expressions never change - they always appear to be happy or confident. But few people can hide the pain in their eyes.
  4. His days off and vacations may reveal a hurt. Is he traveling to visit his parents more frequently? Has she been spending her days off at a retreat center?
  5. His personality may seem to change. When under stress some people become more introverted, quiet, and aloof. Other people become more active, seem to have more energy, and do a lot more activities.
  6. He may not be as active or involved in church activities as he was previously.
  7. He may appear exhausted or stressed. Everyone experiences occassional temporary exhaustion. But when your pastor seems tired for an extended period of time, he or she may be enduring a hidden hurt.
  8. He may mention that he feels inadequate for or overwhelmed by his job as pastor.
  9. Ask him. Often times all a person needs is someone to show they care.

Every pastor is different and every church is different. So there is no perfect way to find out if your pastor is hurting.

But when you do discover that your pastor and/or his family is in pain don't leave it to someone else to minister to him. Take action yourself and invite others to join you in your ministry to your minister.

Next month I will share a few ideas on how to effectively minister to a hurting pastor.


A New Pastor Gift Idea: A Book for a Hurting Pastor

Help your pastor minister through and from his own hurts. Buy him a copy of

The Wounded Healer
By Henri Nouwen

In this hope-filled and profoundly simple book, Nouwen offers a radically fresh interpretation of modern ministry. According to Nouwen, ministers are called to identify the suffering in their own hearts and make that the starting point of their service. For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional, somewhat aloof role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering as those they serve. In other words, we heal from our wounds.


What’s New at

This issue of My-Pastor Minute was inspired by the turmoil my family is currently experiencing. Chief among our "hurts" is a close relative who is being ravaged by cancer. Because of this, I haven't had a chance to make any significant changes to the web site.

However, in my "spare" time I did start building a new web site called, Topical Bible Verses. It is a source of verses arranged by subject - everything from graduation bible verses to verses about nose rings.

Take a look:


Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

Thank you for your ministry to your minister.

Dan Sherman
Michigan, USA

If you have questions, ideas, or wish to be removed from my mailing list, please reply directly to this ezine email.


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