Help for Pastors & Ministers

From the moment Ministers of Religion are ordained they are invested with hugely demanding responsibilities.  While ordination has its own rewards, suddenly being "all things to all people" can take its toll, particularly on those who are apt to be co-dependent. The role of a minister may include any or all of the following:

In addition they are on 24/7 call; expected to attend (or at least drop in on) every church function, practice or meeting; and also somehow be a model spouse and parent. Just ask anyone in the church heirarchy, the congregation or the ministers themselves and they will happily confirm these expectations!

But ministers are human, too!

But ministers are human, too.  With all the pressures placed upon them, it is not surprising that some become burnt out, seriously ill or worse. Some may seek an extramarital affair, and/or experience relationship breakdown, forcing them to leave the ministry. Some just give up the fight and leave anyway.

Many church organisations now provide counselling supervision, but the fear of being reported to and judged by the church heirarchy prevents many ministers from taking advantage of this support. Those who eventually leave may do so with little or no support at all, and then have to deal with their grief and loss on their own.

Fortunately, there are many more ministers who make it to retirement. However, the sudden loss of responsibility, rather than being a relief, can leave them feeling lost and depressed. Retiring ministers may need as much support as those who are still active.

Spouses & Children of Pastors & Ministers

A minister's spouse and children also bear the burden of this calling. Program demands leave them with few evenings that they are able to spend together as a family.

Whether ordained or not, a wife is often expected to take responsibility for the women and children of the church, as well as organising behind the scenes responsibilities such as catering.

A husband may have conflicting feelings about coming under the spiritual headship of his ordained wife. This may be compounded by similar conflicts and comments from within the congregation.

Ridiculously high standards of behaviour may also be expected of the minister's children. It is easy to forget that the minister's kids didn't ask for their parent(s) calling and that the pressure it places on them can cause them to act out in "unacceptable" ways.

Ingrid's skills and experience may help...

Ingrid trained as a minister in The Salvation Army, and was actively involved in ministry alongside her husband for 11 years, before the breakdown of their marriage forced them to resign their commissions. During that time she was appointed to various positions, including 4 churches and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit. She later returned to ministry as a lay chaplain in a social welfare network.

With this experience, Ingrid is well acquainted with the pressures of ministry, and the grief and loss that accompanies resignation. Through her studies and counselling supervision she has had the opportunity to work through her own feelings of disappointment, failure and loss, and is now equipped to help others to do the same.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of compassionate, confidential, counselling support, please phone 0412 377 948 or email .

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32