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'There Is a War': Study Reveals Majority of Pastors 'Extremely Stressed', OverWorked

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and that's important for everyone to know about, especially churches. The national awareness movement works to combat stigma and provide educational resources for the millions in the U.S. affected by mental illness.

And a new report reveals that pastors are no exception. 

According to Lifeway Research's 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors study, 75% of pastors say they are extremely stressed, and 90% report they work between 55-75 hours per week.

Pastor Joshua Smith of Light Elk Grove Church in Elk Grove, CA told CBN's Prayer Link program it is important for pastors to recharge. 

"We need to be wise with God's calling on our life, steward it, and make sure it doesn't crush us," he explained. "We know God's burden is light, but we also need to pray for a spirit of wisdom so we can delegate some of those tasks that God has not called us to."

Smith says pastors can't be in denial of their need for rest because it is harmful to pour from an empty cup.

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"You and I need to know what grace we walk in so we are not carrying a burden that we are not designed to carry," he shared. "We also need to be ok with being human and being vulnerable. We need rest. We need to recharge."

Smith adds that the enemy's goal is to wear out pastors so that he can hinder entire communities. 

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"In Corinthians, Paul says that there is a door of ministry, a wide and effective door, but he said there are many adversaries. So there is not only the pull of living life and taking care of business but there is also a spiritual war," he explained. 

Smith continued, "Wherever there's a door, there is a war. So the devil is warring for (my soul) and your souls. As a man of God and as a woman of God, we are connected to people groups, we are connected to churches, and we are connected to whole communities. If he can wear us out, he will take out whole communities."

You can see more of the interview with Pastor Joshua Smith on this week's The Prayer Link on Wednesday at 2:30 pm Eastern on the CBN News Channel. You can also catch it on the CBN News app or on the CBN News YouTube channel


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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.