“How do you train your boss to be a good boss to you?” That sounds like a daunting task for any employee. According to Dr. Tasha Chapman, one of the co-authors of “Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving,” it’s particularly challenging for pastors.

When I interviewed Chapman in December, I asked her what concerned her most as she reflected on the research. She shared that she worries church boards do not adequately understand vocational ministry and its challenges. She told me:

“Vocational ministry is a weird bird, and I think sometimes we just don’t name it. We tend to spiritualize its uniqueness with our language, our Christian language, and that covers up the human needs and aspects of work and what it is to work well and to steward our work in this culture.”

As part of their research, Chapman and her colleagues Bob Burns and Donald Guthrie explored the question, “Why is vocational ministry uniquely challenged?” According to Chapman, they compared clergy burnout to that of CEOs, business leaders and marketplace leaders. They also looked at healthcare professionals, especially nurses and hospice staff. They observed that people in healthcare professions “get training on burnout prevention, secondary stress and fatigue prevention, secondary trauma prevention.”

But those going into ministry do not. Nor do those who are hiring and firing them–their church boards. According to Chapman, “these are very real issues in our [ministry] jobs as well.”

That’s why Chapman hopes that church boards read the Resilient Ministry research more than the pastors, their families and other church staff. She believes “the challenges [pastors face] are so unique. They’re very hard to communicate safely to the people that are in charge of whether you have a job or not. Educating our churches how to love and care well for the pastors and the pastor’s family, that’s hard and tricky.”

That’s why we invite you to bring your church leaders—your board, elders, deacons, members of the staff-relations committee—to watch our Talking Points videos online. Together, we will learn from experts and hear from pastors who have become resilient in ministry through their years of faithful service.