Ministers work in isolation.
You can be part of a large staff or the pastor of a smaller church and feel alone. Loneliness is often part of the job, but nobody told you that in seminary.
Most Christian leaders report feeling alone, notably missing out on the expected reciprocity inherent in relationships. The job requires you to always be on, the strong one for everyone. Your people expect you to be ready to serve. Constantly providing input into others’ lives without receiving any input drains your spirit, making you feel exhausted.
This type of exhaustion is an indicator of burnout. Unless you recognize and respond to the signs, you are on the path for burnout and leaving the ministry.
Ministers have issues, too. Those who counsel others need counsel for themselves. Even if you feel close to the One you ultimately serve, you can still feel isolated and weary.
I know how you feel.
Being a pastor or missionary is a complicated vocation. Only another missionary or minister can understand your world – and I do.
During the summer of 2002, my wife and I chose to leave the mission field – our island home for 12 years. Though gut-wrenching, it was clear it was time to go. As difficult as this decision was, it was even more unsettling to resettle back to the U.S. because the transition was vast and lonely.
Upon our return, I ministered in a mid-size church as an associate pastor while studying for my counseling degree and starting a practice. I lived in the odd reality of always having to be on and planning for another Sunday. The expectations of myself and others whittled away at my spirit. The aloneness and self-reliance I carried from working overseas became more entrenched.
Around 2014, we made another significant move to Texas to join an agency where I advocate for the best care for missionaries and their families. I still experience the hard-to-describe tension of ministry but am now keenly aware of my limitations and the markers of burnout and a drained spirit.
My experiences equip me to help others.
Reflecting on those times, I basically worked and served alone. I had no coach, guide, or one to walk alongside me. It’s funny how I was ready to reach out to help others but never asked for help for myself. If I had a mentor, I could have done better, which is what I want for you.
Let’s seek clarity about your current position and what you want moving forward. Let’s talk about your overall well-being at home and work.
Utlilizing thorough interview, tailored assessments, and spiritual practices, we will create a personalized emotional and spiritual renewal plan to get you back on track and revitalized for your continued service.
I am ready and able to help you get out of this ministry funk and live a life you desire to model to others.
My coaching has helped other ministers and missionaries.
Read what a few of my clients have said about their work with me (names changed):
“Many missionaries and other ministry professionals are inexperienced when it comes to renewal. Mark is not. He understands the disruption, rest, examination, and exploration that is needed to move forward.” – Jeff
“It is clear that God has gifted Mark for this specific form of ministry. His insightful observations, deeply appropriate questions, and effective suggested action steps all combine to keep you moving forward through the process at God’s pace for you.” – Laura
“Mark gave me specifics to be working towards and helped me form my desires into measurable ways to move ahead. He encouraged me as to the person I am and my part in the org, but far more, he gave me some specific ways to move ahead and develop.” – Deb
“Having Mark as my coach didn’t just transform my sabbatical but gave me direction for the rest of my life on resting and living a balanced life, honoring God physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I can’t recommend Mark enough. Don’t make the mistake I almost made and move forward without a coach!” – Nick
Let me help you!
I know firsthand the trials and tribulations of being a missionary and pastor. These experiences combined with my counseling and intercultural training have prepared and equipped me to help ministry workers achieve balance and peace in their vocation.
My master’s degrees are in counseling and Intercultural Studies, and I have a license to practice as a Professional Counselor in Texas.
Don’t allow burnout or suffering in silence keep you from offering your best self to those you serve. I can help.
Please get in touch with me for more information about this unique coaching and mentoring service.