Encouraging the Encouragers: 'Shepherd's Heart Ministry'


POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 10:39pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 10:46pm

According to a Focus on the Family survey, 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month.

70% of pastors do not have a close friend.

70% of pastors struggle with depression.

Tonight's 'Shepherd's Heart' workshop is the first of many that's meant to minister -- to ministers.

Shepherd's Heart is a ministry started by Pastor James Dill around 2 years ago.

Local pastors filled the small room on Tuesday night for a leadership workshop.  With the weight of the world on their shoulders, Dill says pastors need help too.

"We find that the tenure for a normal youth pastor is approximately 13 to 14 months.  And then over the last 4 months, I've known personally 5 pastors that have stepped out of the ministry in this area simply because of discouragement or not really knowing where to turn," Dill said.

Dill says that's why he saw the need for such a ministry -- because pastors often don't have anyone to mentor them in a time of crisis.

The pastors we spoke with agree.

"It was a great encouragement as a pastor to be around other pastors that were going through a similar struggle that many of us do," said Robert Burkett, pastor of Great Fellowship in Flint.

"The ministry and the challenges of ministry...often times they feel burnt out and they're spinning their wheels often and so it's an encouragement to be able to come together and be refreshed," said Brian Rayburn, Pastor of New Heights Church in Longview.

Honorary chairperson Dave Tillery, KETK's General Manager, also spoke briefly, Shogun's Restaurant gave away some prizes and then Pastor Dill introduced the night's main speaker -- Dr. Paul Powell, previously the senior pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church.

Another familiar face was in the Shepherd's Heart crowd...retired Judge Cynthia Kent.

"These are people who spend their life ministering to other people and their needs and a lot of times we forget that these men and women also have needs to help their Shepherd's Heart," Kent said.

Click here to visit the Shepherd's Heart website, or call 903-241-2816 for more information.

Also coming up on February 13th, right here on KETK, the first in a 2-part series by KETK's Bob Brackeen on "Pastor Burnout" -- something that directly relates to the Shepherd's Heart cause.

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