To Our Dear Friends,
Over the past 24 years, so many of you have prayed for us, supported us financially, and sent your family and friends to Pathway as we have sought to honor God by providing professional Christ-centered counseling to everyone who called us for help. But, there is one specific group of individuals and families, growing in number, who have been seeking counseling over the last 10 years, Pastors / Missionaries / Church Leadership and Para-ministry leaders.. Going forward in this letter, simply identified, as Pastors
As you will read on the insert, there are numerous reasons for the increased number of these men, women and/or their families seeking counseling. Simply put, serving in the ministry is challenging and can be daunting in facing the number of issues found in the local church congregation and community. So many of the pastors feel under-prepared and overwhelmed in handling such issues, that in the end, it comes back to effect their own personal lives, their families, and eventually the church.
Many of us have been part of a “church body” when a pastor is “forced” to leave, or suddenly “called” elsewhere, had a moral failure, experienced burnout, or even suffered with depression or addictions. We all know the impact this has upon the church body, church finances, and its ministries and missions, both locally, nationally, and internationally.
For a few years, Pathway looked at the option of either building or leasing a “Retreat Center” so that we could offer a “retreat” where 8 to 10 pastors could come and stay for one or two weeks. The purpose was to help them deal with some the issues they were facing and have time to “RENEW THE CALL” which God had placed upon their life.
As we did our research and after making several trips to Tennessee and North Carolina to understand the logistics of proceeding with this plan, we began to realize that the financial burden of building or leasing a facility could affect Pathway so much that the “desire to minister to Pastors” would turn from a ministry to a business. Changing our focus from “how many pastors can we help” to “how many pastors need to come so we can pay our bills”. I did not want that to occur.
Each week, I have the privilege of working with pastors, by providing counseling, encouragement, being a listening ear, a mentor, a friend, and even someone to offer guidance in handling church or staff issues. These are pastors from several different States along with pastors in Central Florida. I truly believe that by focusing on pastors they will become stronger, and in turn, so will their families and the CHURCH.
So, what am I asking? Begin thinking and praying about “your pastor” and the times they have prayed with you, taught you the Word of God, encouraged you, comforted you, wept with you, mourned with you, or even celebrated with you. These are the same people who, cry in silence, have no one to talk to, struggle with their own addictions, and can see their own marriages falling apart, while trying to save yours. They are burdened and hurting, but rarely show it until it is too late.
Please read and pray over the insert you received with this letter. One side lays out several of the issues facing those who serve in the ministry today. The other side gives you options on how to help. Yes, Prayer is always desired and needed, but we also need you to “adopt a pastor” and sponsor them so that when they come to counseling, it does not become a financial burden for them or for Pathway.
In two weeks, I am sending a letter to over 500 local churches (pastors and their staff) letting them know about Pathway and how we care for the men and women of God who serve in the ministry and that we are here to help them. Please join us in ministering to those who have ministered to us.
Thank you and May God Bless you,
Is this important?? You may remember that, three years ago, there was a dynamic young pastor, who struggled secretly with an addiction, he ended up losing his ministry, his family, and his life.
Let us work together to provide a resource for the men and women of God to receive the counseling they need.
Why wait? Forward this letter to others or have them go online to read it on our website. pathwayministries.com
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