Clergy: Will You Learn to Manage Stress or Burnout?

Stress Reduction Kit
Image by programwitch via Flickr

Last month, I read an article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership about Myths about Clergy Burnout and Managing Stress. From the article:

Myth Three: Older leaders are more likely to burn out than younger leaders.
Recent research on clergy age seems to indicate that younger clergy are more likely to burn out than their older colleagues. In general, levels of mental health improve as people age. And older clergy are more likely than their younger colleagues to have learned how to manage their stress.

It seems that clergy that do not learn how to manage stress do not have the opportunity to be in ministry a long time because they burnout. How do you respond? In what ways do you manage stress?

Labor Day

Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882...
Image via Wikipedia

Today is Labor Day, of which I did not know the origin until consulting Wikipedia, which reports:

“Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 6 in 2010).

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.[1] In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands ofthe U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[2]Cleveland was also concerned that aligning an American labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to theHaymarket Affair.[3] By the 20th century, all 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.”

Who knew? Not me, that’s for sure. In any case, I hope you have a wonderful day of labor, rest or a parade (See picture of the first Labor Day parade).

Speedlinking – April 9, 2010

These are posts that I enjoyed and recommend. Enjoy!

Zimbabwe: Chabadza (6 of 8)

I was deeply encouraged by learning about the concept of chabadza. This is a custom of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in which a traveler stops to help anyone whom they pass as they are going on their way. If I am traveling from village to village and see someone working in their field, I will stop to help, even just for a few strokes of a hoe. Then a conversation may start in which I may find directions from the worker and the worker may pass along a message for someone in the next village. It is a mutually beneficial partnership.

Chabadza means that someone is working in the field and a passer by works alongside in the same field with the same goal.

I believe that this is a healthy understanding of partnership and is an excellent model for partnerships between annual conferences.

Speedlinking – March 23, 2009

Leadership: Questions (1 of 3)

This post originated from an Advanced Leadership Development course that was a part of the Wesley Academy at Resurrection taught by Dr. Lovett Weems and Cathy Abbott.

Leaders do not need to have the right answers, but they must have the right questions.

  • Who can assign you work?
  • What is it that these people have a right to expect of me?
  • What is it that if I do not do it, no one else can or in all likelihood will?