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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why Are Pastors So Lonely?

Pastors are among the loneliest people in the world. Today, in the Spiritual Formation course I teach at Wesley Seminary, me and my students explored the reasons for this. Feel free to comment and add to the list. The first step toward solving the problem is insightfully analyzing it.

Why are pastors among the loneliest people in the world?
The pastoral role can prevent authenticity
Pastors have been burned before by friends in the church
Pastors don’t have or make time for friends outside of the church
Many pastors struggle with depression which leads to isolation
Pastors don’t want to come across as a clique-ish
Pastors don’t have a right to pick and choose friends when we have to love all
Pastors are afraid people will see the real us beyond the role
Friendship takes energy we pastors don’t seem to have

Why do pastors need friends?
Pastors are prone to self-deception
Pastors need someone who cares for our soul the way we care for our people
Pastors need friends to help us de-robe and not take ourselves so seriously
Pastors need people who commend our strengths and challenge our weaknesses


Brad said...

One problem I saw prior to joining SWC was that many pastors tend to think their way is best and do not reach out to other clergy across denomonational borders.

Under your leadership at SWC, that was not the case as you constantly reached out into the community and other church leaders to work hand in hand for the good of all.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lenny Luchetti said...

Brad, as you know, the culture of SWC allowed me to be the kind of person and leader God called me to be. I didnt have to hide my true self and that prevented my loneliness.
Peace to you my friend

x said...

Yes, preaching can be hard. Been looking at your blog; thanks for the fresh attitude and interesting perspectives - they're much appreciated!

Tim said...

I wish there were resources for getting pastors together with other pastors or leaders for friendship. Not so much clergy associations but for friendship.

As a pastor who has experienced loneliness I have wondered how to connect with the other pastors in the same situation. We are so busy, for one thing, to make time for connections.

Lenny Luchetti said...

Tim, thanks for your comment. It is so hard for pastors to connect with other pastrs, mostly because so many of us are competitive by nature. So, most gatherings of pastors tend to be more competitive than collegial. People like us need to foster the kind of environment that induces deep friendship for pastors.