We know ministry has been extra challenging because of COVID-19. Pastor Church Resources (PCR) is hearing regularly from pastors who are exhausted, experiencing burnout, and who are feeling uncertain about their continued call to ministry.
These pastors need time away from their ministries to attend to themselves and re-establish their rhythms of spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing. But as these pastors have watched their church members also struggle through COVID, they can’t imagine asking for the intentional time away they so desperately need.
That’s why PCR and Financial Shalom have created the Pastor Restoration Grant with generous funding from Lilly Endowment Inc., to encourage pastors and their spouses to retreat for peer learning, vocational assessment, and developing a wellbeing plan that includes the services of a professional helper (spiritual director, ministry coach, or therapist).
The application process is simple and the reporting process is minimal. PCR knows that pastors who need time away need it now and don’t need a mountain of paperwork to stand in the way of their wellbeing. All CRC pastors (Minister of the Word and Commissioned Pastor) are eligible to apply.
Each successful applicant will receive $2,500 (US) to fund a minimum leave of two weeks, two Sundays off (PCR recommends four weeks). Churches will receive $500 (US) to cover costs while the pastor is away, i.e. pulpit supply and emergency pastoral support. Pastors will receive $2,000 (US) to be used for retreat with peers, including spouses where applicable, or individual retreat, and the services of a professional helper such as a spiritual director, a ministry coach, or a therapist. A Birkman Assessment is included in addition to the grant. Grant money may be used for travel, lodging, meals, books used during the learning retreat, childcare, and fees to access a professional helper.
The purpose of this grant is to encourage pastors to re-establish practices of wellbeing disrupted by the pandemic. By accepting the grant pastors commit to produce a simple plan to sustain wellbeing, to share that plan with their council, and to continue engaging the services of a professional helper for at least three months following their retreat. Churches commit to grant a minimum of two weeks leave with two consecutive Sundays of pulpit supply (PCR recommends a four week leave) and consider ways to support their pastor’s wellbeing plan.
For more information on grant requirements and how to apply, please visit crcna.org/pcr/pastors