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Pastors appear to brim with self-confidence, display good communication skills, and have rigorous, demanding schedules, but many also struggle to make and keep friends. And eventually, a large percentage pull back from life's challenges.

A new study by The Barna Group shows 61 percent report difficulty creating and maintaining personal relationships. Dr. Louis McBurney, founder of the pastoral counseling center Marble Retreat in Marble, Colorado, says a majority of pastors in his care cited "lack of emotional intimacy with others" as the main factor in their decision to seek counseling.

"The expectations people have of pastors to always have answers and be competent to do almost anything just tends to shut pastors out from being open about who they are with somebody else," says McBurney. "This may not be as true as it used to be, but many pastors were taught in Bible college and seminary not to get close to their people because it can create problems of jealousy and tension in the church." ...

July/August
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