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Where do pastors turn when they need pastoral care, specialized counseling, or simply a safe place to talk? LEADERSHIP asked counselors Wes and Judy Roberts to list existing ministries they knew of. While not a complete list (we'll try to offer an expanded list in the future), this is a starting place. You'll want to inquire about theological orientation, educational qualifications, counseling approach, and other issues prior to deciding which resource best meets any specific need.
It almost always begins with a phone call, often late at night.
"Have I reached the ministry that helps pastors in trouble?"
"Sorry to be calling so late. I just finished talking to my cousin in Arizona. He said you've been supportive of his pastor and church there. He asked me to call you now. I'm at the end of my rope."
With that he broke down and cried.
"I came home from our church board meeting tonight to find my wife gone. She left a note on our bed saying she couldn't take the pressures of the ministry anymore and was leaving me and the kids. A baby-sitter was here taking care of the children. I don't know what to do next. I'm sure the church will want my resignation."
Another call, another day, went like this:
"I'm going to be in Colorado next week for a conference. Could I meet you for a meal? My district superintendent says I need to talk to you."
At breakfast several days later, he said, "I ran into a man from our church last week. He was going into an adult video shop. I was coming out. This has been a lifelong pattern for me. I need help."
Then there was the pastor who emotionally caved in to the relentless expectations of his board.
And the missionary couple who couldn't convince their superiors on the field, or in their home church, that their daughter had been molested.
And the parachurch worker who hadn't "met her quota of souls" and felt like a failure.
We all know of casualties among our peers. Christian leaders struggle. Where do we turn for them-or for ourselves?
In 1989, representatives ...