The Importance of Mental Health for Ministry Workers
Mental health, in all its various forms, can be a scary, difficult issue to tackle. It can feel shameful and embarrassing to admit that we need help, let alone discuss with another person. It’s not uncommon for church servants to feel as though they must “have it all together” for the sake of the congregation, while struggling with the unique difficulties of ministry. This makes discussing mental health issues and seeking care even harder.
“Back in July, when the email (offering 7 free sessions) came regarding counseling for PCA pastors, I was actually doing OK. As the time and challenges of ministry during COVID have continued, I have become increasingly exhausted and anxious. I can tell that I am battling with burnout and anxiety.” – PCA TE
The fact of the matter is, caring for yourself and your mental health only increases your ability to care for your church and loved ones more deeply and fully. Having a healthy mental state can also provide greater clarity into the truths of the Gospel and how they affect you.
“Over the past two months, my counselor has guided me through the process of processing a number of family of origin issues, as well as helping me gain a more Biblical perspective on an unhealthy perception of past ministry experience. While I had an opportunity to do some work in seminary 15 years ago, now, after two church plants, and a recent diagnosis of acute anxiety disorder, these sessions have allowed me to get reacquainted with the full blessings of the gospel.” – Michael, PCA TE
In response to the overwhelming need for mental health resources, RBI Ministerial Relief created both ServantCare and Cherish, programs that connect PCA pastors, pastors’ wives, and PCA employees to affordable and confidential Christian counseling. As COVID-19 impacted our churches and caused additional stress to our pastors and their families, Ministerial Relief offered access to seven free counseling services to any PCA pastor or pastor’s wife. The response skyrocketed with nearly 1450 counseling sessions provided in 2020.
“Since becoming a pastor I’ve spent about 2 years in counseling. I’m not sure I would still be in ministry without it. In fact, I might not still be here without it.” – PCA TE
“Cherish’s provision insured that finances did not hinder me from seeking help. Cherish provided me a safe place to heal and be refreshed. I thank God for the work of the PCA which is mindful that ministry is a family calling, and although we experience special blessings as God’s servants, we also face special challenges and spiritual attacks.” – Alyssa, PCA Pastor’s wife
RBI believes in serving each church servant in a holistic manner, from financial wellness to mental health. Consider making a donation to Cherish, which provides counseling to PCA pastors’ wives, or enrolling in ServantCare, which provides counseling to PCA pastors and employees. When you invest in ServantCare and Cherish, you invest in the health of the church.
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