It takes a special kind of person to work in a church. The positions rarely pay well, and the hours are often challenging (especially around the holidays). But pastors and congregations alike depend upon people like administrative assistants, music directors, religious education directors, childcare managers, custodians, and so many others who have a heart for ministry and serving the needs of others.

But all too often, when those special people are tending to the needs of the church and its members, their own needs are being neglected. Few church members even notice the extra hours they put in or the tasks they perform that really aren’t part of their job responsibilities, yet nobody thinks twice about stopping one of them and asking “Can you help me with …”

It’s a situation that can lead to two things nobody wants. The first is burnout, which can surface in any number of ways, including irritability with co-workers and church members and difficulty with concentration. They may become cynical or impatient, have trouble sleeping or develop headaches, stomach problems, and other issues. The second thing is job turnover. When church workers feel they’re being neglected, they may leave for a job somewhere else, taking their expertise and knowledge with them.

So what can pastors, church leaders, and congregation members do to take care of those valued workers? There are a number of things, and one of the most important is simple kindness. Treating workers well and thanking them regularly is a big step that’s often forgotten.

Care to Change can help, too. Through partnerships with churches, we proactively provide compassionate, practical assistance, addressing issues before they spiral out of control. Through education and communication, we help church employees better understand mental health and how we can help, then provide confidential care.

We can also help with compassion fatigue, which is when the need to remain fully alert and supportive while responding to a never-ending series of problems, complaints, and crises takes a toll on mental and emotional energy, impacting the ability to serve and spilling over into personal lives. Our workshop will show your team how they can protect themselves while helping others and give them resources to draw upon.

Care to Change can guarantee immediate availability for church employees when needed and/or allow you to offer reduced-price services as part of your employee benefits plan. If your church has an established Employee Assistance Program, we can explore ways to add our services to the resources you already offer. To learn more about these and other services we provide for local churches, contact us today.

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