PBS Story on Clergy Stress
The PBS series Religion & Ethics Newsweekly produced a segment on clergy stress for their current episode. Lynda Ferguson, pastor of Salem United Methodist Church in Bostic, N.C., was featured in the segment, as was a research collaborator of the Duke Clergy Health Initiative, Joseph Stewart-Sicking of Loyola University in Maryland.
The stress of congregational leadership is a complicated subject for a segment of less than eight minutes, but PBS did a good job given the time constraint. The story touched briefly on a lot of rich themes, such as Joe's point about the contrast between the high calling of God's work and actual church work. It can be a struggle to find the ministry within the necessary but sometimes tedious work of administration. (Not to mention sweeping the floor, mowing the church lawn, or other unglamorous tasks that sometimes fall to the pastor.)
The camera follows Lynda Ferguson through a busy day of pastoral visits and meetings. Lynda speaks of reaching a point of vocational exhaustion, and also of some specific changes she made and actions she took to renew her ministry.
It's gratifying to see this conversation being taken up in a variety of prominent venues. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly isn't broadcast in North Carolina, but you can view the clergy stress segment on their website.
Clergy Health Initiative