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A Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Dr. James Merritt
1. Is there anyone here today dealing with stress? Just Looking out, I see a lot of people who are all stressed up and no Place to go. Stress is a problem. Believe it or not, this is a Problem for the pastor. In a recent Los Angeles times article, Psychologist Richard Blackmon said, ‘‘pastors are the single most Occupationally frustrated group in America.’’
2. About 75% of pastors go through a period of stress so great That they consider quitting the ministry; 35-40% actually do. Incidents of mental breakdown are so high that insurance companies Charge about 4% extra to cover church staff members compared to Employees in other professions.1
3. A recent study by the fuller institute of church growth Found that 90% of pastors work more than 46 hours a week; 90% Feel that they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry Demands; 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job; 75% Report a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their Ministry; 80% believe that pastoral ministry has a negative Effect on their families; and 33% say that being in the ministry Is downright hazardous to their families.2
4. I have to be honest and tell you that there has been a Feeling of stress on me ever since I was in the seminary. In Fact, when I read this little poem I thought about myself: a seminarian named breeze weighed down by ma’s and PhD’s, collapsed from the strain; said his doctor: ‘‘it’s plain you’re killing yourself by degrees.’’
5. Stress is affecting our rest. We are working longer and Sleeping less than at any other time in our history. A CNN poll Recently said that 59% of all Americans would like to slow down And relax more, and a Harris poll said we have 8.5 hours less Leisure time than we did just ten years ago.
6. According to a recent us news CNN poll only 28% of American adults get eight hours of sleep.3
7. According to USA today Americans average about ...
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