I just came from an amazing service at my church tonight. Our church has a pretty cool ministry called "City of Refuge - A Timothy + Barnabas Ministry." The service was all about the City of Refuge (COR). This is a ministry that ministers to ministers, who have fallen, burnt out, depressed or just need some help. These families come to our church to be restored and hopefully sent back out into ministry. Wow! How often do we find that in churches? It truly is a unique ministry. I have had the privilege of knowing some of these families. Walking this journey with several of the wives as I walk mine has been a tremendous blessing. Some of these families have been sent lovingly from their church to ours while others have been kicked to the curb. If we don't take care of those who need it who will? The restoration team (and our church) shows the family grace and of course truth during their stay. I'm not sure what the average stay is but some have stayed for 6 months to around two years. The church helps them out with a place to stay and financially somewhat until they can support themselves. They also provide counseling and support groups for them. And then after a time when the restoration team feels they are ready to move on they graduate being fully restored to go back into the ministry if that is where God is leading them. If you want to read a little more you can check it out on this website - http://www.fbcw.org/1510.htm. You can also probably watch the service from this website as well. So thankful to Pastor Johnny, who felt burdened to help encourage and restore these families to ministry.
Today's bulletin had these stats:
~1500 pastors across all denominations leave the ministry each month due to burnout, forced termination, moral failure, compassion fatigue or marital difficulties.
~50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
~70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
~Almost 40% of ministers polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
~80% of pastors spouses wish their spouses would choose another profession.
~The majority of pastors wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered ministry.