"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Why Are So Many Pastors Committing Suicide?|
In another church tragedy, Pastor Isaac Hunter—the son of the spiritual adviser to President Obama—has reportedly taken his own life. Hunter’s death is making national headlines because of his megachurch father Pastor Joel Hunter’s influence on the White House, his marriage troubles and an undated suicide note found last year, but his death is far from the only pastoral suicide in recent months.
Just days ago, a pastor who was grieving his dead wife reportedly shot himself in front of his mother and son, expressing that he was hearing his dead spouse’s voice and footsteps. Pastor Ed Montgomery and his late wife, prophetess Jackie Montgomery, served at the Full Gospel Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, Ill.
In November, a Georgia pastor killed himself in between Sunday services. Larrinecia Sims Parker, wife of the Rev. Teddy Parker Jr., found the pastor in the driveway of their home ...
read more: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/42063-why-are-so-many-pastors-committing-suicide
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2013/12/12 14:58||Profile|
| Re: Why Are So Many Pastors Committing Suicide?|
I read this article a couple days ago. It does put a light on a very real problem.
From the article -
There is no lack of statistics about pastors and depression, burnout, health, low pay, spirituality, relationships and longevity—and none of them are good. According to the Schaeffer Institute, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression, and 71 percent are burned out. Meanwhile, 72 percent of pastors say they only study the Bible when they are preparing for sermons; 80 percent believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families; and 70 percent say they don’t have a close friend.
The Schaeffer Institute also reports that 80 percent of seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within five years.
This all from folks that for the most part love God and only wanted to fulfill His plan in their lives to spread the Gospel and deliver those in bondage.
There are very practical and real reasons for those statistics.
Several of the Biblical heros and leaders felt exactly the same way and contemplated the suicide route to stop the pain. Elijah is one such example many may be familiar with.
I counsel pastors and church leaders all the time. These stats are true. You will find however that is is rarely attacks from the outside that lead to these dark depressions. It is the attacks, back stabbings, and blood lettings committed by those who claim to be followers of Christ.
A man or woman pours their life out for a community, sacrifices deeply, and then the very people they have sacrificed for crucify them with their words and actions. It is inevitably because of some perceived slight or tiny matter that no one in their right mind would have taken offense to. I have seen it even on this very forum many times.
Get some good commentaries to work with and read them along with 2 Timothy. By the time 2 Timothy was written Timothy had called it quits, he was done, he had packed it in, and was no longer going to suffer for those who betrayed him as soon as a little heat got on the church.
That is exactly why quality guys are throwing in the towel today ... it isn't lack of dedication to God ... it isn't a lack of passion or calling from God ... it is the devouring tongues and deeds of those who claim to be followers of Christ but in reality are just tools spreading pain to those actually sacrificing themselves for the Gospel.
Timothy knew this well ... as did Elijah ... and Moses... and many ministers that I have sat and counseled with.
May God have mercy on those who cause such destruction to His servants attempting to fulfill the call on their lives ... they will need it.
| 2013/12/12 17:04||Profile|
| Re: Why Are So Many Pastors Committing Suicide?|
Every incidence is probably unique and so a broad brush cannot be drawn as if they are all suffering from the same problem.
But I will mention a few things I have observed:
Pastors are not insulated from the trials that non-pastors also go through and in many cases have additional stress and pressures on them that are unnatural.
They are tempted just like anyone else, and many times in ways that non-pastors are not tempted. They have great influence over money and people and people look to them in unnatural ways (putting them on a pedestal) thinking that they have the answers to all their woes.
Many of them are in impossible positions that I would not wish on anyone. They have a lot of unnatural pressure on them that God does not put on them. Pressure from keeping up a certain reputation for their ministry, marriage, children, and how they perform as a Pastor. So many things that one man has to keep under his control and what happens when they all begin to unravel? It would be so much better for him and his wife and children if he was just a regular brother in a fellowship and did not think that he had to shoulder everything. It puts pressure on the wife and kids, too. Not just the Pastor. There is a good book (can't recall it right now) that is similar to your question about Pastors but it talks more about their children. "Why Pastor's Kids Leave the Faith" or something like that. I did not even mention how many Pastors always have in the back of their mind that they could be fired if they don't perform up to par.
Then you have the congregation and many who may not like the Pastor and his way of doing things and they sow hatred toward him. It is difficult for them not to take those things home where it will affect the whole family.
I find the modern Ecclesiastical system very problematic for individual relationships not the least of which is the Pastor and his family.
| 2013/12/12 17:08|
| Re: |
Just-in said, "They have a lot of unnatural pressure on them that God does not put on them."
It's very grievous to read of these tragedies. Why are they happening? I have a friend who, although not a pastor, once attended one of David Wilkerson's pastors conferences. They addressed all these issues-- pastor burnout, etc. It was all very good, my friend said, adding sadly that they didn't address the one issue that is the most serious problem of all. Which is that it was never God's intention in the first place that the whole weight and responsibility of a church be on the shoulders of a single pastor.
It's simply not the order of the church as revealed in the New Testament that a congregation be headed up by one man.
| 2013/12/12 19:56||Profile|
| Re: |
Brother AD writes...........
"It's simply not the order of the church as revealed in the New Testament that a congregation be headed up by one man."
This is exactly right and the root of the problem........bro Frank
| 2013/12/12 20:49|
| Re: |
If any member of our physical body shouldered all the weight and responsibility of most of the bodily functions, it would be destroyed under the load. In fact, there is no member that can even function like that. But, this is what is happening to these men, today.
When a hand tries to be a head, it will become frustrated and lose hope. There is no member of the Body that can do the work of the Head except Christ.
| 2013/12/12 20:52|
| Re: |
But to go further, the entire religious world is one big, giant BURNOUT. Pastors that are "burning out", are also causing their staff members to burnout and the Pastor and Staff together are burning out their congregation. It is one constant, driven, get results, competitive religious system that has no mercy on people. It is a worldly system that has been created to be fed. It constantly cries out, "Feed me, Feed me".
And one of the roots of this madness, is money. That is correct. MAMMON. If you disagree with that, then just take away the money and see who shows up to fellowship with one another. Think about what would cease to exist without the money and then think about what enables the Church in persecuted countries to continue on.
When your motivations become how you can make money with the gifting and ministry that God has given you, you are beginning to feed the "monster" and the monster will end up devouring you.
| 2013/12/12 21:15|
| Re: |
Amen just-in .............bro Frank
| 2013/12/12 23:49|
| Re: |
Blessings to you, bro Frank. The Lord is good...very good.
| 2013/12/12 23:58|
| Re: Pastors?|
I have noticed that the people who post here never talk about the churches they are pastoring!
Anybody want to admit that they are a pastor?
And I certainly agree with the teaching of the New Testament that churches should be run by a group of (men) who are all able to teach, pray, support one another, discern spirits, administer the gifts present in the local body.
Back in the eighties, I had become involved with a flash start up church that had come together to hear an eloquent young pastor who had been dismissed by his Lutheran denomination when he professed a pentecostal experience. The church grew quickly, and we all were dazzled and amazed as the congregation outgrew rented venues every couple of weeks.
Through a wierd vote, about a dozen of us were asked to form an elder board to oversee the operation. We quickly all became good friends, and looked forward to our weekly meetings where we laughed and prayed and tried to figure out where we would meet the next week to handle the crowds.
Meanwhile, beloved pastor went down in sexual flames shortly after our group came together. We were now responsible for the congregation and the entire service ourselves.
While none of us had the speaking skill of the original pastor, by sharing the load we kept it going quite well for some time. We all marvelled at how much fun church was, and for that short time we were truly a New Testament church!
Long story, but we ended up calling a pastor who was a name it and claim it guy, and the church eventually went sour over that. In the meantime, I had moved to California and was not there when it ended.
But I was left with a vision of what successful church can look like, where the primary currency is love among Godly brethren.
I would do that again...
And for the record, I am not a pastor!
| 2013/12/13 0:29||Profile|