The “RevitalizeNC” podcast is hosted by Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Each episode includes an interview with a leading expert in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and encouragement to pastors and ministry leaders.

This second episode that came out today (May 7) features Tate Cockrell, associate professor of counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, discussing pastoral health in church revitalization.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

Terry Long: “Our families get the direct exposure of what we’re dealing with. No matter how much we try to protect them, they feel the stress — our kids feel the stress, our grandkids feel the stress. Dr. Cockrell, how would you help pastors or ministers in this time as they have stress and are feeling stressed? How would you guide them to interact with their families in this time?”

Tate Cockrell: “That’s a great question. You know, there’s a word that I’ve just been hammering into most of the pastors that I work with and it’s ‘intentionality.’ With all the pressure and all the stress, it’s easy to put all the intention and all the attention into their vocation and into their ministry. And it’s important, don’t get me wrong. God’s given us a very unique calling as pastors and as ministers of the gospel, and I want to take that very seriously. I don’t want to downplay that at all. But one of the things I realized early on in my ministry, and had some good mentors in my life that really helped affirm this, and that is, my first ministry is to my family. I kind of earn the right to be able to minister outside of my family by ministering to my family first.”

“If I don’t get that right, I really don’t have a lot of credibility in other areas. So I’ve just got to be really intentional about being able to see where those needs are, in my kids, in my wife, and say I’m going to take the time. I’m going to be very intentional and take the time that I need to be with them. Oftentimes, pastors begin to forget the sacredness of the relationship that they have with their wife and they begin to take it for granted. When you don’t give intention and attention to your marriage, it’s going to start going down. Your marriage is either growing or dying. It never stays stagnant.”

New episodes will be released every other month. For more information and details on how to subscribe, click here.

by BSCNC Communications

Happy New Year! I know that those are welcome words for many of us, myself included. Given the events of the past year, we are all ready to return to some semblance of normal, although normal will undoubtedly look different than it has in the past. Most people say they are tired and weary about how much of life has been altered since March of 2020. I resonate with Paul’s writing in Philippians 3:13, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to those things that are ahead….” 
When we consider all the unwanted changes that congregations have had to accept this past year, it becomes obvious why disagreements between fellow church members and church leaders about how we function as a church family can become contentious. 

Excerpt from this podcast:

Have you stopped to realize who in the church is expected to maintain peace, keep everyone happy and convince the membership to cooperate together in carrying out the mission of the church? Who is the person that is caught in the middle and placed in a no-win predicament because everyone cannot have what they want? That individual is the pastor.

Early last fall, Thom Rainer published an article on his Church Answers website titled, “Six Reasons Your Pastor is About to Quit.” 
According to Rainer, some of those reasons include general weariness and fatigue from the ongoing impact and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives and ministries. Pastors are discouraged about the degree of discord, division and disagreement within the congregations about how best to navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, as well as other issues of our day. Pastors are also discouraged by an increased amount of criticism that they receive, either directly or indirectly.

Editor’s Note: Josh Reed serves as a senior consultant for Adult Evangelism and Discipleship and Georgie Robinson serves as associate professor of missions and evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.