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Editorial: Love ‘these servants of God’


‘You will all watch your words and the ways that you go at these people, these servants of God!”

Certainly, ministers are not perfect.

They are human. They make mistakes. But too often, the stories we hear about how these “servants of God” are treated by elders and congregations break our hearts. 

Ministers need support, a place where they can be honest about their own struggles, whether it be with mental health or otherwise, without it impacting the future of their job.

In our front-page story on a church seeking to make a smooth transition, retiring preacher Gregg Strawn insists fellow Christians not look at the church staff “as people with a target on their backs.”

Amen!

Let us not forget, ministers often carry burdens the congregation knows nothing about. It’s sometimes difficult for them to find close friendships where they can share their struggles and know those interactions are safe and confidential. 

Ministers need support, a place where they can be honest about their own struggles, whether it be with mental health or otherwise, without it impacting the future of their job.  

Recent news of an evangelical megachurch pastor’s suicide is one reason to spotlight this need. Jarrid Wilson was known for advocating for mental health and was himself struggling with depression.

In this issue, we’ve focused on how leaders and those paid servants should interact. 

Besides the Page 1 piece from Oregon, we ask you to read Cheryl Mann Bacon’s column on “Best Practices for Dismissing a Minister.” Next month, look for a related commentary on “What Not to Do When Firing a Minister.”

Here’s the bottom line: We in Churches of Christ need to make sure we are caring for and supporting those called to serve in ministry in a way that will continue to point them to Christ.

Filed under: Church of Christ dismissed Editorial Editorial fired ministers Opinion sacrificial lamb

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