Wounded Pastors (Paper)

Navigating Burnout, Finding Healing, and Discerning the Future of Your Ministry

  • 9780664268459
  • 5.5 x 8.5
  • 188
  • 75.00
  • Paper
  • 0664268455
  • 1/16/2024
  • 7-10 days processing
$ 25.00


You’re not alone in your ministry. And you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Ministry is a stressful vocation, with unspoken expectations, projected anxieties, and conflicting demands. After the pandemic caused a sudden shift to online worship and factions fighting over when and how to return to in-person worship, pastors have been leaving congregational ministry at even higher rates than usual. The emotional fallout of burnout and abuse at the hands of parishioners is something pastors carry for years, whether they stay or leave the congregation.

Seasoned pastor Carol Howard Merritt and psychotherapist and former pastor James Fenimore join their expertise to offer validation, support, and guidance for pastors who have been hurt by the church. With wisdom that can come only from experience, they describe and define aspects of struggle and pain readers may have difficulty articulating or claiming for themselves, and they offer compassionate, informed guidance on how to find healing. A systems approach to conflict sheds light on the dynamics of church conflict and how clergy can tend their own well-being amid leadership challenges. The final chapter helps readers consider their overall vocational path based on what they’ve experienced and decide whether they can remain in congregational ministry or need to pursue a different line of work.

Free downloadable resources available for pastors and church members! Visit www.wjkbooks.com/WoundedPastors to download a personal inventory for pastors that can be printed out or used as an interactive, digital journal; a list of seven ways that church members can support pastors; and social media images that can be shared.



Product Excerpts and Related Resources


"Carol Howard and James Fenimore help us understand our ministry contexts and guide us toward creating the kinds of support networks we need if we’re going to not only survive ministry but thrive." - Word & Way

"Here is a book that should be required reading for every seminarian and should be a gift to every pastor and church board. Thank God that Carol Howard and James Fenimore have said out loud the things that are usually expressed only through sighs and tears. The diagnosis is sound, and the prescriptions are wise indeed." —Brian D. McLaren, author of Do I Stay Christian?

"Every pastor I know right now is experiencing some degree of burnout, pain, or desperation. None of us are okay. I can’t think of a more important book for clergy and those who wish to help them. Howard and Fenimore speak with authority, care, grace, and knowledge. A must-read." —Traci Smith, author of the Faithful Families series

"In Wounded Pastors, Howard and Fenimore offer us a compassionate resource for clergy to pragmatically care for themselves. When we think of care as something more than a fuzzy feeling proximate to love or kindness or even ministry but as a necessity for survival, something like food or air, then we see just how important this book is for sustaining our vocation. The authors come alongside us to help us recognize and engage actively in the ongoing healing of our wounds so that we might see how we courageously enact healing in our churches." —Mihee Kim-Kort, copastor of First Presbyterian Church, Annapolis, Maryland, and author of Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith

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