Can a Pastor Wrestle With an Addiction?
The answer is YES. Addictions appear to be a growing threat to congregations and to those in ministry. Some pastors and denominations are openly addressing this problem, while others have been trying to solve this for a long time. Whether a pastor is dealing with a member of his congregation or wrestling with their own personal problem, the threat is very real and dangerous.
Pastors are not immune from facing all kinds of addictions, such as pornographic addiction, food addiction, prescription drug addiction, drug addiction, gambling, being a workaholic, etc. Let’s consider these statistics:
4 in 10 pastors view pornography daily.
Food addition and obesity is the #1 health problem with ministers.
Pastors are becoming more reliant on texting, ignoring appropriateness and balance.
Prescription drugs, drug abuse, and gambling addictions are escalating as ways of escape.
90% of pastors are workaholics, burn a candle at both ends, working between 55-75 hrs weekly.
The demands of the ministry often tempt a pastor to seek other sources of gratification and isolation, which is extremely dangerous. Without accountability and a care giving network, such isolation lends itself to obtain “things of pleasure” which may include sex, food, drugs, or something else.
Pastor, you are too important to be left alone, allowing the temptations of this world to deceive and destroy your ministry! Secondly, too many pastors struggle with guilt and shame from just being tempted. Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. But He was an over-comer through the Word and through His relationship with His Father. Thirdly, everyone must maintain that relationship with the Father on a daily basis. You must recognize your weaknesses as well as acknowledge from where you get our strength.
Unfortunately, it seems as if it is common for pastors to deal with addictions almost on a daily basis. To be an over-comer, you must rely upon the Word, your Savior, accountability groups, and others, such as Pastoral Care, Inc. to encourage and support your ministry. If you need help with any addiction or materials, please contact Pastoral Care, Inc. PCI is a safe and confidential place to turn to for help.
Pastoral Care, Inc. Staff
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