What Clergy Do Not Need

For the sake of clergy self-care, let's stop talking about clergy self-care.

I do not think clergy need more lectures about self-care.

It seems that at every ordination or installation service I attend there is a charge given about clergy self care. One minister stands up and tells another minister that they know they are about to work themselves to death, so resist the temptation. "Take your day off…set boundaries…don't try to be all things to all people." All this is done in front of an audience of lay people who are supposed to be impressed that we clergy would need such a lecture. It has become a cliché, and seems to have trumped prophecy, theology and the love of Jesus.

To lay people it seems strange, since they work hard themselves. Should they raise this, they will be treated to a lecture from these same overworked clergy about how they, in bravely trying to take better care of themselves, are "modeling" appropriate self-care for the laity. Such talk is condescending to the laity, tedious to listen to at ordinations and most of all, unsuccessful in changing ...

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