Being a church leader has never been easy, but over the last year, trying to guide a congregation has reminded me of a scene from “The Incredibles.” After Mr. Incredible’s presence in his enemy’s lair is discovered, he tries to escape, only to be attacked by dozens of cannons firing big bubbles of tar at him. The faster he tries to run and the harder he fights back, the more rapidly the bubbles expand, until he’s trapped in a cocoon of black goo.
If you feel strong empathy as you watch that scene, it’s because the past year or so feels like an endless stream of tar bubbles. As if a terrifying pandemic wasn’t enough, we’ve been weighed down with political divineness, freakish storms, and more. Each time you think you’re making progress, wham — another tar bubble challenges you. But you’re a church leader, so you manage to press on and brace yourself for what’s next.
I think you’re pretty amazing, but face it, there is not such things as a superhero like Mr. Incredible. You’re a human, and like it or not, those tar bubbles are having an effect on your well-being and your ability to minister to others. Even Jesus had to step away from His disciples at times to pray, to reflect, and rest, and if we don’t make retreat, restoration, and renewal part of our lives, both you and those who count on you will suffer.
That’s where we can help. The Care to Change team includes professional counselors who specialize in supporting church leaders. They’ve walked in your shoes and recognize that awful sensation in your gut when you don’t feel you can live up to everyone else’s expectations (or even worse, your own). Sitting down with them is more than an opportunity to vent. It’s a safe place to find true solace without being judged, second-guessed, or exposed. At the very least, it’s a respite from the tar bubbles.
Let us know if you’d like to have a conversation with one of them. And we’d also like to hear about your needs and those of your congregation as we plan for what we’ll do in 2022.
April Bordeau is the Director of Care to Change. A licensed clinical social worker, she has focused on helping children and families overcome challenges in their lives for over two decades.