July 22, 2024

The Three Legged Stool of Pastoral Support

Pastoral ministry, or really any kind of ministry leadership can bring the greatest joys and challenges. Serving in one of these roles often means some feelings of isolation, judgement and intense pressure. 

I have never really seen a stool with 2 legs and certainly none with only one leg. I often think of the image of a 3 legged stool as one of stability, support and balance. Plus, 3 is a good biblical number. 

The three legged stool of pastoral support involves three relationships: mentor, counselor and someone for proactive support for health. 

We all need mentors whether we have been leading and serving for 5 minutes, 5 years or even for 50 years. As disciples and as leaders, we have the opportunity and call to continue to learn and grow. 

Church ministry also takes a big emotional toll as you deal with the pain, angst and needs of others. Any leader needs a good counselor of some kind. Depending on our health, we each get regular physical exams. We should also tend to our mental health on a regular basis as well.

Finally, all leaders need someone who can serve as proactive coach and support for sustaining health as a leader and as a person. While this sometimes starts as a reactive need, sustainable health is a proactive and intentional work. 

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