Being a clergyperson can be stressful—mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. From pressure to grow their congregations to unrealistic expectations from church members to poorly defined guidelines about working hours or tasks, new pastors sometimes flounder. Even experienced pastors can get caught off guard by deep-seated dysfunction in their congregations or other circumstances that trigger psychological issues from their past. This book helps pastors explore the situations that make them vulnerable to burn-out, misconduct, spiritual dryness, health issues, depression, and more. Through real-life stories, pragmatic advice, and psychological and spiritual wisdom, the author will show readers how to practice good self-care while maintaining effectiveness and reignite the energy and passion that first fueled their call to ordained ministry.
“Integrating insights from years of practice as a psychotherapist and as a spiritual director, Sue Magrath provides rich content and a healing spirit to My Burden Is Light: A Primer for Clergy Wellness. Because of her experience working with so many clergy, her words have the ring of authenticity and practical applicability. She knows what pastors have to deal with and she speaks directly to them about their role and to their soul. Magrath knows that pastoral ministry in the local church is a tough job; she also knows there are resources and strategies clergy often fail to utilize, including retreats, Scripture, companions, and counselors. I believe this is a realistic and helpful book that will help many pastors.”
Jerry P. Haas, co-author, The Cycle of Grace: Living in Sacred Balance
“This is a book that will earn a permanent place on my bookshelf; I only wish I’d had it as I entered ministry! Magrath, grounded in both spiritual direction and psychotherapy and experienced in the local church, deftly leads us through the various areas that affect clergy wellness. Practical and provocative, I can see turning to it on a regular basis to provide the ‘how am I doing personally?’ check-in that often gets neglected in the busy life of a pastor. This would be an excellent choice for clergy groups providing mutual support and accountability.”
—Mary K. (Sellon) Huycke, co-author, Pathway to Renewal
“Sue Magrath’s commitment to clergy wellness shines in this heartfelt, insightful, and very practical book. She effectively combines relevant information with personal reflection. Readers will feel deeply cared for while exploring this book. I was grateful to encounter a wise leader who writes not only from experience, but with great compassion and respect for clergy and all spiritual leaders. This book is truly a gift.”
—Lara Bolger, Chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church