Why Pastors Need a Coach
“There are some dragons in my life I cannot slay on my own.” ~ Ted Beasley (a pastor)
Pastors are a notoriously self-sufficient lot. Truth is, it’s one of the qualities I admire in strong leaders. Their belief in their calling and their passion for their mission compels them to believe they can handle whatever challenge comes their way.
So I appreciate it when pastors I meet are bold enough to ask me point blank why they (or any pastor) should consider hiring a coach. In response, I often share with them some stats from this survey of Reformed and Evangelical pastors in the U.S.:
- Of the 1,050 pastors surveyed, every single one had a close associate or seminary buddy who has left the ministry because of burnout, conflict in the church, or from a moral failure.
- 90 percent reported that they are frequently fatigued or worn out on a weekly and even daily basis.
- 77 percent reported that they did not have a good marriage.
- 75 percent reported that they felt ill-equipped to manage the church or counsel others effectively.
- 71 percent said they battled depression on a weekly or even daily basis.
- 30 percent confessed they had either been in an ongoing sexual affair or had a one-time encounter with a parishioner.
- Only 26 percent said they had regular personal devotions and felt adequately fed spiritually.
- Only 23 percent reported that felt happy and content on a regular basis with who they are in Christ, in their church, and in their home.
If that’s not enough to convince you, there’s more corroborating data from Barna and other research entities. (Read the article in its entirety here).
One of the primary jobs of a leader is to look unflinchingly at their current reality as it is. Pastoring is a dangerous job, and no leader, however strong, will navigate it successfully by standing alone.
Partnering with a trained, certified coach who is skilled in leadership and personal development, as well as relationship systems work and team dynamics is frankly one of the smartest moves any pastor can make.
I’ve been a pastor myself, and I care deeply for them. I believe in pastors, and in the work they are called to do. And I want to see them succeed and become in every way the men and women that God has called them to be.
So if you’re a pastor who’s looking for a confidential ally to partner with you to create the life and impact you long to have in the world, you really should consider contacting me. Let’s talk about your reality, the challenges you’re facing, the dreams you want to see made rea, and explore how working with a coach can help you get there more quickly and avoid becoming another disheartening statistic.
Please pass this along to any pastor you know. And if you are a pastor, why not take a risk and drop me a line? What have you really got to lose?
Michael D. Warden is the founder and president of the Ascent Coaching Group, Inc and blogs regularly on leadership, team dynamics, and culture change at MichaelWarden.com.
CC Image (Adapted) • BobbyParsa on Flickr