Clergy Health Initiative Releases 2014 Survey Findings
A new report from the Duke Clergy Health Initiative explores the state of health of North Carolina’s United Methodist clergy. Drawing on data from the initiative’s 2014 statewide survey of 1,788 clergy, the report highlights demographics, key facets of life in ministry, and measures of pastors’ spiritual, mental, and physical health.
The 2014 data suggest that most clergy have a vital relationship with God. This spiritual health may have a buoying effect on clergy’s mental well-being: 68 percent of clergy are flourishing, a measure of positive mental health. Though still high, rates of moderate to severe depression symptoms among currently appointed clergy declined from 11 percent in 2008, when the survey was first conducted, to 9 percent in 2014. Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge for many currently appointed clergy, with 41 percent of men and 38 percent of women qualifying as obese. Many clergy are also at risk for other metabolic risk factors, including diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Through the survey, clergy identified areas of strength in the congregations they serve. The vast majority of clergy rate their congregations as being gifted in areas such as seeing youth as assets and welcoming people to the church. However, more than half believe their congregations to be challenged by the tasks of embracing change and enabling members to use their gifts to serve the church and community.
The roles and actions of many people within the church have a bearing on clergy health, so alongside the data are suggestions of actions clergy, congregants, and denominational officials can take to support the well-being of pastors.
Read the report (pdf).
Every other year since 2008, the Duke Clergy Health Initiative has conducted a survey of all United Methodist clergy across the state. Participation in each wave of the study has ranged from 75-95 percent of clergy. The next survey will take place in 2016.
The Duke Clergy Health Initiative is funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment, a private nonprofit foundation located in Charlotte, N.C. Learn more at www.clergyhealthinitiative.org
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.