Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Take care of yourself, preacher

“Take care of yourself.”  It’s something we often say when parting like “drive safely,” “have a good time” and “see you soon."  More than just good advice, this is something which pastors need to hear and heed.

Recent research by Duke Divinity School has confirmed what I’ve heard for many years … that is, that clergy are generally in poorer health than the general population.

On Talk of the Nation (a PBS show) the host summarized the research this way:  “Priests, ministers, rabbis and imams are generally driven by a sense of duty to answer calls for help and to do the best they can to serve others. But recent research shows that in many cases, they rarely find time for themselves and as a result suffer from higher rates of depression, obesity and high blood pressure.  Many clergy members simply burn out.”