Presbytery

Killing the Clergy Softly: Congregational Conflict, Job Loss and Depression


By David Briggs

They are called “clergy killers” — congregations where a small group of members are so disruptive that no pastor is able to maintain spiritual leadership for long.

And yet ministers often endure the stresses of these dysfunctional relationships for months, or even years, before eventually being forced out or giving up.

Adding to the strain is the process, which is often shrouded in secrecy. No one – from denominational officials to church members to the clerics themselves – want to acknowledge the failure of a relationship designed to be a sign to the world of mutual love and support.

But new research is providing insights into just how widespread – and damaging – these forced terminations can be to clergy.

An online study published in the March issue of the Review of Religious Research found 28 percent of ministers said they had at one time been forced to leave their jobs due to personal attacks and criticism from a small faction of their congregations.

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Presbytery Highlights Second & Catawba

Presbytery News by arpmagazine Catawba Presbytery Highlights From the meeting of Catawba Presbytery at the Centennial Church, Columbia, SC on March 13, 2012:  Heard a message from Andrew K. Putnam, Moderator of Synod and member of Catawba Presbytery. Approved a new mission work in Rock Hill, SC to begin on April 1, 2012 and to be called…

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