PASTORAL CARE WEEK
Every year during the last week of October, Pastoral Care Week provides opportunities for organizations and individuals to recognize spiritual caregivers and their ministry. This week is also known as Spiritual Care Week.
Spiritual caregivers have a great responsibility for the spiritual health of their church and community. This responsibility often takes much of their time and energy. Caring for others is a huge sacrifice, as it sometimes takes them away from their own families. These spiritual caregivers and pastors are the ones that people call on in times of crisis. They must always be ready to pray or cry with someone who is struggling.
Even though most spiritual caregivers are filled with peace, joy, patience, kindness, and other fruits of the spirit, it doesn’t mean they don’t ever struggle. The life of a spiritual caregiver can be stressful at times. Just consider the following statistics:
- 72% of pastors work 55 to 75 hours a week.
- 84% of pastors feel they are on call 24/7.
- 65% of pastors fear they are not good enough to meet other people’s expectations.
- 78% of pastors have had their vacation or family time interrupted with ministry duties.
- 75% of pastors have had at least one stress-related crisis during their ministry.
Thankfully, with an increase in clergy appreciation, 73% of churches are treating their pastors better than ever. Also, 90% of pastors feel they are where God called them to be. As things continue to get better for spiritual caregivers, hopefully, fewer pastors will experience burn out and continue with their important work.
If you don’t already, pray for your pastor or spiritual caregiver this week, and every week.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PastoralCareWeek
During this week, many churches, places of worship, and organizations with a chaplain hold special services to provide encouragement for their pastoral staff. Church members also give cards and special gifts to their pastors. Some might even take their pastor and their family out for lunch. If you have a pastor or spiritual mentor in your life, this is the perfect week to show them your appreciation. You can also give a shout out to your pastor on social media with #PastoralCareWeek.
PASTORAL CARE WEEK HISTORY
The COMISS Network: The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, has been hosting Pastoral Care Week since October of 1985. The COMMIS Network is a group of organizations that come together to discuss the field of pastoral care and counseling. Each year, the COMISS Network chooses a special theme for Pastoral Care Week. Recent themes include:
- 2020: Collaborative Health Care: Chaplains Complete the Picture
- 2019: Hospitality: Cultivating Space
- 2018: Hospitality: Cultivating Time
- 2017: Hospitality: Cultivating Inclusion
- 2016: Spiritual Resilience
- 2015: Spiritual Care Together