Dr. Leonard Sweet notes, “in the future every pastor will have a coach and will be a coach.”
Stan and Robin Lubeck are passionate about adding value to those who are on the front lines, serving in pastoral ministry. The statistics are frightening and the carnage is unnecessary. Serving in ministry for 40 years, Stan and Robin talk to pastors and spouses every day and can attest to the fact that they have one of the hardest jobs on the planet. As a couple they bring a lifetime of wisdom, experience and proven life skills for coaching pastoral couples to be leaders who last.
Survey’s reveal that:
- 45% of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
- 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
- 70% don’t have any close friends.
- 75% report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear, and alienation.
- 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
- 80% believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively.
- 90% feel unqualified or poorly prepared for ministry.
- 94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family.
- 53 percent are often concerned about their family’s financial security
- 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
- 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations.
- 45% of pastors’ wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout.
- 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family’s well-being and healthy.
- 57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do.
Many of our dear friends, highly skilled, are no longer serving in full time Christian service due to some of the above realities. Ministry is a dangerous calling.
There aren’t many challenges and storms in ministry that we haven’t seen, from the unique challenges of serving in a large church and the small, playing second fiddle and first chair as a Lead Pastor.
We have learned to thrive in churches with senior pastor transitions, massive ministry style changes, resource sucking building projects and under inconsistent and poor leadership.
We are still standing with a bigger heart for God, a bigger heart for people, and a marriage where we love one another deeply and our children intently. We are passionate about Life Coaching as a way of adding value to pastoral couples who desire to thrive in the chaos of ministry in a broken world.
Nehemiah knew that the “joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) If pastoral couples lose their joy, they lose their strength. In his book “How the Mighty Fall,” Jim Collins explores what went wrong in companies that were once darlings of Wall Street but later collapsed. He finds that for many, falling into
“the undisciplined pursuit of more” was a key reason for failure.” 1
What is true in business is also true of ministry, bigger is not necessarily better.
The late Dallas Willard exhorted us:
“You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.”2
If you serve on the Board of your church, consider supporting your pastoral couple by funding them for Life Coaching or a well deserved Sabbatical that provides encouragement, a listening ear and a safe place to share dreams as well as nightmares. It is an investment that will return dividends for both now and eternity by increasing the likelihood of a long and fruitful ministry.
We also serve as Executive Coaches for those who desire a Christian perspective for flourishing in the workplace.
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1. Mckeown, Greg (2014-04-15). Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (p. 14). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 2. Ortberg, John; Ortberg, John (2014-04-22). Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You (p. 89). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.