Recent research has revealed high levels of stress and anxiety in clergy - comparable to those seen in police, fire fighters, and emergency medical professionals. This is perhaps not surprising, given the unique complexity, necessity, and gravity of their work.
Self-reported stress factors among clergy include:
- Conflict - dealing with critical congregants and interpersonal conflict in the community
- Demand - juggling the relentless demands and pressures of clergy life
- Guilt - feeling ineffectual or guilty for not being able to do enough
- Unpredictability - facing frequent relocation, unknownable job prospects, and the shifting moral and spiritual landscape of the church
- Isolation - handling the loneliness and depression related to social and geographical isolation
- Lifestyle - staying fit and healthy in the face of time and social pressures