(Memphis) Church leaders know all too well about the stress that comes along with the work they were called to do.
“They’re pastors, they’re ministers, they’re associate ministers, they’re Chaplin, they’re elders, they’re lay clergy. All of them have come to be part of it,” Wanda Gardner-Slater,
Director of Spiritual Care with Regional Medical Center, said.
The pastors who attended have a big heart for the work they do, but sometimes their love for helping people can get in the way of their own well-being.
“They don’t take time to go to the doctor, they don’t take time to eat properly, they don’t take time to exercise,” Gardner-Slater explained.
The Regional Spiritual Health and Wellness Conference aims to change that.
Clergy from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas participated in the conference, including WREG photographer Minister Greg Tate.
“For our communities to be healthy, they need to have healthy clergy,” Gardner-Slater said.
“We want to try to help people learn how to balance their lives,” Bishop William M. Young, said.
Bishop Young, Pastor of the Healing Center Full Gospel Baptist Church, taught a workshop on stress and what to do if clergy members get burned out.
“Stress is normal and natural, but you have to have boundaries and you have to have a balanced life if you’re going to stay in ministry,” Bishop Young said.
Other workshops focused on everything from clergy ethics to what to do when visiting a patient in the hospital.
“What we’re hoping that they leave with is that they need to take better care of themselves so that when they are talking with their congregations and dealing with their congregations that they give better information,” Gardner-Slater said.