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How to Improve Clergy Health

Across denominational lines, clergy score above the general population for poor heath — being overweight, suffering from high blood pressure, and living with stress and depression. Hence, denominations are addressing the need to transform the ministry culture. This article identifies and discusses key factors contributing to clergy distress. They are clergy confusion about what constitutes effective ministry, the greater work demands place upon contemporary clergy, the reduction in lay support compared to a generation ago, the reduction in clergy income relative to their secular peers, and the loss of social respect accorded to clergy. The article, written by Bob Wells and originally published in the Duke Divinity School’s alumni magazine, Divinity, includes guidelines toward a new way of practicing church-based ministry.



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