Having served both in the capacity of a pastoral role as well as a licensed professional counselor, one of the big, dark secrets that are often not discussed within the Christian circles is the idea of practicing what we preach. What do I mean by this? It is a fairly common point of failure that we lack vulnerability as professionals and pastors.

My request to you readers, pray for your professions and pastors as you would for everyone else. For they hold a role that is important but at times unsteady. I have several in my life that while I am legally bound to not talk about my clients, they know when it is time to pray for me. But I feel this is more the exception than the rule.

We honestly lose sight as professionals and pastors. Our reactions should be to pray, though that does not tend to be the solution we actually seek.

  • In our sermons, we ask you to have faith and trust in God’s timing. But in our personal quiet time and our budget meetings, we lack these qualities.
  • In our counseling sessions, we talk about self-care (or for pastors, soul care) yet it is hard for us to go seek out counseling when we ourselves may need it too.
  • We encourage our congregation to repent from their sins, but we ourselves have these guilts and shames that we will never show the world.
  • We ask our clients to practice coping skills daily so that when they experience burn out or crisis, they will be able to continue on in spite of the situation. Unfortunately, we could do with more breathing techniques and thought stopping.
  • We expect leadership in the midst of trials and temptations but tend to be more like Moses than Joshua when facing our own giants.
  • We tout compassion in our sessions, but blame clients and complain when it doesn’t go our way.

We honestly lose sight as professionals and pastors. Our reactions should be to pray, though that does not tend to be the solution we actually seek. May I ask a favor of you? If you have friends and family who are pastors and professional counselors, tell them you are praying for them. Maybe ask for prayer requests if you feel so inclined. But just pray.

Published by Jeremy Smith

Jeremy is the Co-Occurring Program Coordinator and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor at a community mental health center. Jeremy has a history of working as a ministry director for Youth for Christ for 8 years and then working as a mental health and substance use adult counselor in Colorado and Ohio, specifically running an Opioid Residential Treatment Center.

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