CBN Newshad a chance to speak with Fernando Garzon, a clinical psychologist, and professor with Regent University, to talk about the tragic situation and the realities facing pastors after a California Pastor took his own life.
Inland HillsLead Pastor Andrew Stoecklein died in the hospital Saturday after trying taking his own life Friday. The pastor left behind three young children and his wife.
Pastor Andrew’s suicide is bringing attention to all the pressure on men and women in ministry.
“Pastors have a real challenge in a sense that they give so much to so many people and many times the standard of behavior and conduct for pastors is so much higher that they feel isolated,” Garzon said. “Who does a pastor go to when they want to talk about different situations? Who does a pastor share his heart with?”
He continued, “It is really the loneliness, the isolation that can happen in the ministry is something important for all churches to be aware of.”
Professor Garzon said that churches and the community can be helpful to pastors by giving them a place and opportunity to “fill up” and receive encouragement.
“Allow the pastor to have a set of people that the pastor can really unload his heart to and share his burdens with,” he said. “And just let the pastor know that you care for him. Pastors are always giving – they need that encouragement.”
He continued, “Give them vacations, support their families, give them time with their families and alone time. They need a space to be themselves and to refresh and restore.”
H/T CBN News