Lessons from Moses: Pastor, You Are Not Alone!

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Our leaders are seeking endless ways to stave off the fear and anxiety that those under our care are feeling.

“Mental health issues in general and burnout in particular are real issues for pastors and leaders as we minister today in our complex world.”

When I wrote those words this past January, I couldn’t have imagined that our complex world would become one that looked almost unrecognizable only three months later.

Three months later, we see burnout on a different scale. Pastors are tired. Staff are tired. Our leaders are seeking endless ways to stave off the fear and anxiety that those under our care are feeling.

Today, I started to try to look at my inbox. It has 552 emails in it that I need to reply to— many from my staff who are waiting on me for a few things. Others from pastors with serious and significant questions. And, I think I will probably be working on these emails throughout the weekend.

But, who remembers what a weekend is anymore. There is no Monday, Friday, or Sunday for many of us. There is just day, day, and day.

And, burnout— for many of us— is close.

A Staff Held High

When I think of where we are today, I think of Moses. In Exodus 14, when the Lord God set his people free from the harsh rule of Pharaoh, God

…said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground”… Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land” (Exod. 14: 15-16, 19).

Holding up the staff in trust must have been exhausting. In fact, we see later on in Exodus 17 when Israel is fighting the Amalekites that Moses needed help with that …

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