Pastoral stress research papers examine the phenomena of the clergy experiencing burn-out and stress. Theology writers custom write papers on any topic you need your research to be on.
The call of God to spread his message is seen in the thousands of clergymen and women who join the churches leadership year after year. These highly educated and talented individuals begin their ministries with drive, dedication, passion, and a strong belief that they can make a difference in the troubled world in which they live. To often however, many of these bright-eyed individuals walk away from the ministry they were called to, not because they no longer believe in God who called them to serve, but because they can no longer handle the demands and pressures leading a church congregation calls for. As the number of pastors leaving the church increases each year, so too, does the focus on pastoral stress.
Recognition of pastoral stress is a fairly recent occurrence. Until recently, many assumed that pastors who left their flocks did so for personal reasons or for serious character flaws such as inappropriate behavior.
- In 1965, researcher Blizzard wrote that pastors are especially vulnerable to stress and discouragement that could lead to many abandoning their posts as religious leaders. Since that time, many other researchers have confirmed Blizzard's findings.
- In 1980 researcher Hartley stated in his report that, "84 percent (of pastors surveyed) had low moral experiences such as a sense of losing hope, a feeling of being overwhelmed, or an experience of futility in their ministry".
- Such discouragement leads to added stress for the pastor trying to cope and if untreated or unrecognized, burnout.
In today's fast paced world, stress overload and the resulting burnout are not uncommon. Herbert J. Feudenberger, a Psychoanalyst from New York, lists three personality types that are prone to burnout:
- The person who is driven to succeed
- The overcommitted individual
- The extremely competent individual
Given that a pastor's basic goal is to work nonstop to care for his/her parishioners, is highly educated in the fields that will aid him/her in achieving these goals, and is dedicated by the sheer belief in God's calling, it is no wonder that the pastors of today's churches are in an optimal position for stress overload and burnout.While little attention has been paid to the subject of pastoral stress historically, more attention is being forced to the subject by the sheer numbers of religious leaders affected.