A Letter to the Sheep: Our Responsibility to the Sheperd

A Letter to the Sheep: Our Responsibility to the Sheperd

By Jennie Birkholz

In Pastor Brad Hoefs powerful blog post Pastoring and Suicidal: Insights from a Pastor Who Has Been There he brought to light many challenges pastors face in modern-day ministry.  Pastors have blessed me and my family with their words and actions throughout the years, but this article made me stop and think about how to purposefully return the blessing.  

Here are a few starting points to consider:

1. Creating a Safe, Supportive Workplace  

Mental wellness, just like physical wellness, is impacted by stressors in one’s environment which include a person’s workplace and personal life.  Some basics for a supportive workplace include giving your leaders the tools they need to do their job effectively, ample compensation to support their family and health insurance.  They should also have access to pastoral care and a mentor.

2. Give leadership opportunities for Renewal and Growth 

Regular sabbaticals and time for renew should be part of the culture.  Leaders should also be encouraged to attend conferences, trainings or be with mentors.

3. Stop complaining and start doing-

If you want something to change or a new program be the leader or coordinate it AND financial contribute to it.

4. Be a friend 

Being a leader is lonely and being in the pastoral role is no exception.  The pressure to present as perfect or grace filled can be stressful and lead to self-isolation.  Pursue a friendship with them that makes room for them to be their authentic selves.  Have fun and do stuff outside of church events!

5. Show true appreciation  

Grand gifts and gestures are not necessary.  Simply sharing how their words impacted your spiritual growth and life may rejuvenate their purpose.  

And for those sheep that complain about the church.  I am at fault too, but we need to catch ourselves.  Remember is it a conviction or a preference.  Would the nation of Israel really care about the carpet color in the sanctuary?

Let me know what your thoughts are!

Jennie Birkholz

Breakwater Light

www.breakwaterlight.com

jennie.birkhkolz@gmail.com

Jennie Birkholz, MHA is the Principal with Breakwater Light, a consulting firm that partners with multi-sector organizations, churches and communities focused on positive social impact. Using a trauma-informed, equity lens, projects are oriented around innovative leveraging of community assets, creating powerful networks for change and fostering resiliency.  She is an innovative collaborator for faith and health, a trauma informed care trainer and expert on community behavioral health and substance addiction. Jennie served in the community behavioral health and substance use disorder field for over 15 years before becoming a national consultant.  

A Special Interview with Amy Simpson, Author of Troubled Minds

A Special Interview with Amy Simpson, Author of Troubled Minds

This special edition of Fresh Hope Today is for Christian pastors and church leaders as host Pastor Brad interviews speaker and author, Amy Simpson.  Amy is the author of the award winning book Troubled Minds.

This podcast focuses on educating Christian church leaders about the mental health crisis and what each congregation might consider doing in order to help those effected by the crisis within their church and communities.

Specific ideas are laid out for what pastors and church leaders can do within their congregation to address this ever-pressing issue in our society today.  Plus, creative approaches to ministering to those who suffer from a mental health challenge and to the loved ones of those who suffers are given.  (We encourage you to share this podcast with your pastor and the leaders of your church.)

Click on the icon below to listen to the podcast.

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After listening to this podcast we encourage you to email us at info@FreshHope.us with a comment or question that we will share on our next podcast.

If you are listening to this podcast on iTunes, we encourage you to leave a comment regarding the podcast. Or you can leave a voice message for us on the site: www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com

Pastor Brad Hoefs, host of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, is the founder of Fresh Hope Ministries, a network of Christian mental health support groups for those who have a diagnosis and their loved ones. In other words, Fresh Hope is a Christian mental health support group.

Brad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995. He is a weekly blogger for www.bphope.com  (Bipolar Magazine). He is also a certified peer specialist and has been doing pastoral counseling since 1985. Brad is also the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis, which is available on Amazon or at: www.FreshHopeBook.com

If you are interested in more information about Fresh Hope go to www.FreshHope.us or email info@FreshHope.us or call 402.932.3089.

To donate to Fresh Hope go to: http://freshhope.us/donate/

For a complete list of where Fresh Hope groups are presently meeting go to http://www.FreshHope.us and click on “find a group.” Or you may attain an online group of meeting of Fresh Hope by going to www.FreshHopeMeeting.com

If you are interested in starting a Fresh Hope group within your faith community contact Julie at Julie@FreshHope.us

Fresh Hope for Mental Health is a production of Fresh Hope Ministries.

Fresh Hope Ministries is a non-profit ministry.

The copyrights of this program belong to Fresh Hope Ministries and may not be duplicated without written permission.

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