We live in a world full of people who describe themselves as lonely.
Recent statistics paint a picture of the loneliness of our society.
- Loneliness has adverse health effects equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- 1/3 of people in marriages are lonely
- 35% say they have no one to turn to when they are stressed.
- Gen Z reported 79% felt lonely in 2019 compared to Silent Gen at 38%
- Over 60% of young adults have less than three meaningful adult interactions a day
- 21% of Americans say they have no close friends.
- 58% of Americans sometimes or always feel like no one knew them well in 2019. In 2018, that number was 54%.
Pastors are certainly not immune to the challenges of loneliness.
One author suggests that up to 70 percent of pastors experience seasons of loneliness. This blog post couldn’t possibly deal with every aspect of loneliness and its causes. I did, however, want to provide some helpful resources to pastors who are experiencing loneliness:
The Georgia Baptist Mission Board
Your Georgia Baptist Mission Board is here to help you however we can. “Pastors are our heroes” is part of our DNA. I am blessed to serve with an incredible group of leaders who desire to encourage pastors. Specifically, the Pastor Wellness team is here to help. This ministry offers counseling as well as fellowship and ministry events throughout the state. You can find more information at: https://gabaptist.org/pastorwellness/
In Georgia, we are blessed to have associations and associational mission strategists. I encourage you to connect with your local association leaders, build relationships, and get connected with other pastors.
Learning Communities are part of the Discipleship team’s strategy throughout the state. Learning Communities exist to:
- Sharpen, encourage, and resource one another personally and professionally
- Collect and discuss best practices
- Finish the task of leading our family and ministry well
There are currently over 40 Learning Communities throughout the state. Each of our regions has Learning Communities, and more are being started. These groups exist for professional development and to build relationships among our pastors. You can get more information about Learning Communities here: https://gabaptist.org/discipleship/
Loneliness for the pastor is real, but there are things you can do to make it through these tough seasons and thrive in the ministry God has called you to.
Published July 6, 2021