“The State of Pastors” (The Barna Report), is a compressive report on how clergy see themselves in today’s complex world. Among many findings is the fact that one in three pastors do not feel prepared for counseling or solving people problems. Another 27% report inadequate training in handling conflict. Nearly a third of clergy feel ill-prepared for administrative burdens in the ministry. These are the top three in a long list of reported inadequacies in ministry preparation.
“I wasn’t trained for that,”
is often heard among clergy. While seminaries do their best to train pastors, the challenge is for pastors to build their skill-set for the changing culture in which they live and work.
If for example, a pastor feels inadequate in his counseling skills, he can foster links to professional counselors for referrals or one-on-one mentoring. Or if he lacks training in handling conflict, he can take a course on the subject or reach out to someone with special training in this area.
One or two counseling courses at a seminary does not make a pastor skilled in every counseling situation. Counseling skills or conflict skills like many other skills in ministry require on-going education, training, and experience. Pastors should work on areas where they are less skilled and strengthen their gifted areas. While ministry is often overwhelming, complex, and exhausting, pastors can and will feel better about themselves as they continue to learn and grow.
(One Minute. written by Pastor Ron Rehrer, Counselor for Church Workers; phone 949.433.5182; email firstname.lastname@example.org)