This Week

  • Today: 10:00 Worship
  • Tuesday: Bible Study @ Jeremiah’s, 2 p.m.; Elders, 3 p.m.
  • AA Meetings: in the Parish Hall:
    • Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Discussion
    • Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Big Book
    • Fridays 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Discussion

Pastor Phil’s installation service will be on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 4 p.m. A light supper will follow. All are invited.

Sunday morning messages are available on the website (www.stpaulsmarietta.org/audio). Tell your friends.

Sermon 9/5/2022: Prepare Ye!

This message is about slavery and the cost of discipleship.

4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. 8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

Philemon 1:4-16

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:25-33
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Charismata News, July 19, 2022

An increasing number of pastors have reported considering quitting their jobs. What’s driving this trend — and what can believers and parishioners do to help stem the tide?

Christian Post reporter Leonardo Blair explores this important issue, what the data has to say, and how preachers’ own spiritual practices serve as an important barrier to burnout. He recently reported on Barna data suggesting that pastors who prioritize self-care are less likely to consider quitting.

As an increasing number of pastors are now reporting they have considered quitting their jobs due to stress, loneliness, political divisions and worries like their church being in decline among other things, a new report from Barna shows that pastors who prioritize self-care are less likely to feel this way.

Using survey data collected October 2021 and March 2022, Barna researchers found that pastors who have considered quitting full-time ministry are less likely to prioritize their self-care and are more likely to agree they feel like their own spiritual formation has taken a back seat to pastoral duties.

Among pastors who feel like quitting, less than half or 45% of them say they prioritize their self-care, while some 62% of pastors who have not considered quitting say they do.

Nearly 50% of pastors who feel like quitting said they often feel depressed compared to just 21% among pastors who have not considered quitting. Pastors who feel like quitting are also more likely to feel that their own spiritual formation has taken a backseat to their church responsibilities. Some 67% of pastors who have considered quitting report feeling this way compared to 52% of pastors who have not considered quitting.

Researchers also noted differences in weekly faith practices such as engagement with the Bible among pastors who have considered quitting and those who have not.

“When it comes to weekly faith practices that might help sustain pastors’ well-being, data highlight notable differences between pastors who have considered quitting and those who have not,” said Barna. “While all pastors prioritize praying throughout the week, pastors who have considered leaving are less likely than other pastors to prioritize reading the Bible for personal devotions (70% vs. 80%) and time to worship (58% vs. 68%) on a weekly basis.”

Despite the challenges, a majority of both groups of pastors reported that they could not see themselves doing anything else for a living, but the sentiment was much stronger among pastors who had not considered quitting.

Some 58% of pastors who have felt like quitting couldn’t see themselves doing anything else compared to 91% of pastors who haven’t thought about quitting.

More than half of pastors, 56%, who considered quitting full-time ministry in the last year, according to Barna, said, “the immense stress of the job” was a huge factor behind their thinking. Beyond these general stressors, two in five pastors, 43%, reported that “I feel lonely and isolated,” while some 38% said “current political divisions” made them think about calling it quits at the pulpit.

An equal 29% share of pastors also said they felt like quitting because they weren’t optimistic about the future of their church; they were unhappy with the impact the job had on their family or they had a vision for the church that was in conflict with where the church wanted to go. Another 24% of pastors say they considered quitting because their church is steadily declining.

While pastors who have not considered quitting experience some of the same challenges highlighted by those who have considered it, the research shows that the difference maker for them is their mindset to ministry.

Some 83% said they did not consider quitting because they believe in the value of their ministry; 75% say they have a duty to stay and fulfill their calling to ministry, and 73% say they are satisfied with their job. A majority of pastors who have not considered quitting also cite strong family and community support and confidence in their ability as leaders.

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