PARK FOREST, Illinois – Oct. 19, 2018 – When’s the last time you said thank you to your pastors and let them know you are praying for them? October might be a good time, since it’s National Clergy Appreciation Month. And if your pastor is like many, they are feeling stress.
“Parishioners should share the burden of praying for our pastors. Week after week, we come to receive that which God has poured into them. We have many expectations of them, expressed and unexpressed,” said author and ordained evangelist Fredrick Ezeji-Okoye of Park Forest, Illinois. “How often does the average congregant stop to consider the pastor’s needs? If the pastor is doing all the pouring, how is he being replenished? It is time to become the ones who pray for our pastors.”
Most people understand being a pastor can be a heavy load, even if they don’t know many details of what is involved.
According to some statistics*, 75 percent of pastors report severe stress and resulting anguish, worry, anger, depression and fear, so perhaps it’s not surprising that 1500 pastors reportedly leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict or moral failure.
Of pastors surveyed, 57 percent would leave if they had somewhere else to go or another vocation they could do. Pastors also rank high in statistics on drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide, along with doctors and lawyers.
Even before he discovered these stunning statistics, Ezeji-Okoye had been called to minister to those who minister, being led by God to create an organization called the Men of Faith Network, a fast-growing, diverse, multi-cultural network of pastors and leaders with a global outreach. The Men of Faith Network serves pastors by providing them a support system and encouragement, through relationships built and its monthly meetings.
In the Chicago area, the Men of Faith Network meets the last Saturday of each month on the campus of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights.
Ezeji-Okoye, who is also CEO of The Liberty Foundation LLC, a company that specializes in training church workers and consultants, explores these ideas further in his recently-released book, Who Prays for the Pastor?
Aimed at an audience of both pastors as well as their parishioners, in the book Ezeji-Okoye offers practical information for both on a variety of subjects, all aimed at supporting pastors in their life and work.
He shares how one Sunday morning he stood in church listening to his pastor praying passionately for others when he heard a still small voice asking, ‘Who prays for the pastor?’ and this became a burden on his heart that led to receiving God’s assignment to create a ministry for pastors and an outreach for many people to begin to pray for their pastors.
For a list of 12 simple tips for showing appreciation to your pastor, visit https://libertyfoundationllc.com/who-prays-for-the-pastor/
Who Prays for the Pastor? [ISBN: 978-1-946889-48-5, $9.99] was published by Carpenter’s Son Publishing. It is available from online retailers and selected book stores. For more information, visit https://libertyfoundationllc.com.
For review copies or to interview Fredrick Ezeji-Okoye, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR, at 513/319-3231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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*According to statistics cited at www.pastorburnout.com, quoting an article in the New York Times.