Did you know your pastor
probably wants to quit?
No sabbatical. Family tensions. No counseling. Ministry fatigue. No self-care. Conflict. No clear picture of what’s expected. And no option to be weak when your congregation needs you to be strong.
At any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit, (Church Resource Ministries).
As a former pastor, Bob Lehman understands this reality far too well. Bob’s most recent blog post is called ‘Scary Stuff’, is filled with statistics outlining the difficulties that modern pastors and their families face every day like,
- 80% of pastors believe the pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families (Life Enrichment Ministries)
- 25% of all pastors don’t know where to go for help if they have a personal or family conflict or concern. 33% have no established means for resolving conflict. (George Barna)
- 40% have no opportunity for outside renewal like a family vacation or continuing education. There is a very clear relationship between the amount of time a pastor takes for personal renewal and his satisfaction in his job. (George Barna)
- More than 2000 pastors are leaving the ministry each month. (Marble Retreat Center)
These statistics help those of us outside of pastoral roles realize the immense pressure most pastors feel. However, Bob knows this pressure personally.
Bob and his wife, Janet, enjoyed a successful ministry with Missions Door as Campus Ambassadors starting in 1975. They were then Church Planters, a Ministry Director and finally, Bob became Senior Pastor of Arizona Hills Community Church.
Two years ago, Bob unknowingly walked head-first into anxiety and depression. The result had a crippling effect on his ministry and took a toll on the relationships that were most important to him. Fortunately for Bob, he received coaching, mentoring, and helpful insights at that critical time. The result was nothing short of remarkable, allowing both Bob and Janet to continue effectively serving their community.
Bob says he is a “poster child” for the power of God renewing a spirit. Through this experience, they became keenly aware of ministry individuals and couples across the nation that struggle with similar issues. Their personal experience and the statistics above, led the Lehmans back to Missions Door and compelled them to start the ministry, Mission Recharge.
“The dominant cause for pastors to leave the pastoral ministry is burnout”, Bob says. Often times, pastors do not feel they can reach out for support they so desperately need. Bob recognizes the immense pressure for pastors to portray a strong image for those whom they lead. After personally experiencing this burnout, Bob and his wife Janet launched “Mission Recharge”, a multi-faceted ministry aimed at pastors and ministry leaders. Their goal is simple: combat the killers of ministry.
The Lehmans’ ministry aims to counsel pastors in their current roles. Specifically, Mission Recharge will help marriages at all levels, explore the presence of and solutions to burnout in ministry, find protection for ministry fatigue, and help create environments to allow time to think, pray, contemplate, talk, read, rest, relax. However, this ministry will not only support pastors in times of hardship, but also help them develop strategic plans for their future in ministry. They will focus on identifying personal limits and setting boundaries, creating opportunities for continuous self-care, developing strategies for working through loss, death, career transitions, and grief, and offering coping mechanisms to traverse anxiety and depression.
Bob and Janet Lehman seek to create a safe and understanding coaching ministry for pastors, missionaries and ministry leaders and spouses who are in the midst of burnout, marriage issues, or personal excesses. They have found that without healthy life navigation and mentoring, ministry effectiveness and longevity can be negatively impacted, often leaving the home shipwrecked and ministry damaged. Mission Recharge understands the unique difficulties leaders face with boundaries, pressure, and anxiety, and seek to create healthy balance for them emotionally, personally, and professionally.
Bob says, “Ministry leaders share a common aspect. We are to be models of the life of Jesus. It’s about observing the life of Jesus, and so imitating his life that we begin to live like Him. For followers of Jesus, there’s something inside us that wants to love people in an authentic real way, but often the pressures of ministry, marriage, family and life get in the way. Who wouldn’t want to have improved friendships, courtships, partnerships, and relationships? Our hope is that God would use us as an agent of renewal in leaders lives to draw them back to the authentic life that Jesus called them to.”
If you know a leader who could benefit from the oasis that Mission Recharge offers, please contact Bob and Janet Lehman at www.MissionRecharge.org