Barna’s latest poll on pastoral burnout shows 42 percent of pastors in the United States seriously considered quitting full-time ministry in 2022.
Not just taking a break. Quitting.
Their report states, “Over half of pastors who have considered quitting full-time ministry (56%) say “the immense stress of the job” has factored into their thoughts on leaving. Beyond these general stressors, two in five pastors (43%) say “I feel lonely and isolated.”
This is a good reminder for us to be praying for and supporting our pastors. It’s not an easy role to fill, but it can be incredibly rewarding, as well.
If this stat is true in the west – a place where we enjoy religious freedom and have access to others who share our faith (connection) – imagine how isolated pastors must feel in nations that are restricted to the Gospel.
These pastors need rest, connection, and time to catch fresh vision and inspiration. To meet the need, we are going back to the Middle East this month to host a conference for Iranian pastors!
We’ve shared with you recently that tensions have been higher than normal in Iran.
The regime has cracked down on the Iranian people amidst protests. The country has frequently been cut off from the Internet, and Christians especially have had to be on high alert as the regime’s boldness has increased.
We’re getting first hand reports of Christians being jailed and tortured by the religious police. Some have been taken by the government, and others have disappeared altogether.
We recently learned of a group of 12 Iranians that were arrested and beaten until they would give up their phone passwords so authorities could retrieve contact information for other Christians in their network.
These are the stories Iranian pastors have to speak to every week. How do you address a parent whose child has been taken by the government or a person whose body has been irreparably damaged at the hands of the regime? How do you encourage people to stand firm in the faith despite incredible opposition?
Talk about stress on the job and circumstances that lead to feeling lonely and isolated.
Iranian pastors are also very often the ones who store the Bibles and Story of Jesus booklets World Compassion sends into the country.
The risk associated with being a Christian, much less being a pastor and harboring Bibles and discipleship materials, is a pressing and real threat in every moment. Yet, they gladly choose to serve this way!
These brave leaders are shepherding people whose lives are on the line for the sake of the Gospel while enduring incredible hardship and persecution themselves.
This is why World Compassion is hosting a conference for Iranian pastors this month!
We are flying 50 pastors out from the madness and off the frontlines of Iran, giving them a multiple-day retreat and time of refreshment and encouragement!
Once in a safe location, they will meet up with an additional 25 Iranian pastors who are currently living in a nearby country primarily for safety reasons.
Together, these 75 pastors will experience teaching on leadership, faith, pastoral ministry, following the leading of the Lord, and more. They won’t have to worry about their home being raided by religious police or about preparing a message. They’ll come to simply receive and rest.
With the conference quickly approaching, there are three pressing needs we have for Iran right now!
3 Urgent and Time Sensitive Needs in Iran Right Now:
First, you can help sponsor an Iranian pastor to attend our conference this month. This need is urgent and time sensitive.
It costs $736 (£611) to sponsor one pastor – this covers round trip airfare, ground transportation, lodging, food, study resources, and the cost of the conference itself for four days.
That’s four days away! This isn’t much compared to the average conference cost in the west.
When you sponsor a pastor, you’re providing them an escape from the pressures of leading inside Iran right now. It will be a time of rest and refreshing, a chance to receive training, an opportunity to connect with other leaders facing the same challenges they are, and a time for us to sit with key leaders to strategize expanding the ministry impact we have in Iran.
The value this time will have on their personal and ministry lives is tremendous. Your giving towards this has a multiplied impact!
We are bringing 75 Iranian pastors to this conference, costing a total of $55,200 (£45,825). However, thanks to some generous partners, we have a big jump on covering this. We need your help covering 51 more pastors – that’s $37,536 (£31,161) remaining to sponsor all 75 Iranian leaders.
Second, you can continue to help provide Christians in Iran the Bibles they need.
With limited Internet access and concerning surveillance, Iranians need physical Bibles more than ever.
What’s important to remember is that every Christian in Iran views themselves as an evangelist. They’re using these Bibles as a connection point to share the Gospel with their Muslim neighbors.
With the number of house churches that help distribute these Bibles, we have an army of people and the potential to reach over one hundred thousand people with the Gospel in the coming months.
At this moment, we have 114,560 Bibles ready to be moved – with more on the way! It’s going to take $1,031,040 (£916,480) in total to reach 114,560 people with the Gospel.
I share these numbers with you to help you see the scope of opportunity we have in front of us to see thousands of Iranian people give their lives to Jesus.
That’s $9 (£8) to put a Bible into someone’s hand inside Iran. We ship a combination of New Testaments, Psalms, and Proverbs and full Bibles. This number helps cover the average cost per Bible.
How many people could you help us reach this month? $36 (£32) reaches 4 people, $900 (£800) reaches 100 people, or $4,500 (£4,000) reaches 500 people.
Third, you can help send the World Compassion team to the Middle East this month.
In addition to hosting the conference for Iranian leaders, we will be in Iraq for several days ministering to local teams and planning to expand our outreaches there. We need about $15,000 (£12,446) more to help cover the team of five going.
We wanted to share this cost with you as it plays into the additional funds needed this month beyond all our regular projects around the world.
YES! I WANT TO DIRECTLY IMPACT LIVES IN IRAN!
World Compassion Terry Law Ministries d/b/a World Compassion and its affiliates are not a part of nor associated with Compassion International. Your gift will be used for these projects and many other outreaches of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries.
GIVE BY TEXT
If you’re not already,
would you consider partnering with us monthly?
This helps us so much when making plans and budgeting projects around the world.
Example: $25 (£20)/month would reach 3 people with the Gospel in Iran. $100 (£82)/month would train two leaders in China or Myanmar through our ABC Bible Training Material.
Join with us in prayer that the Iranian pastors who attend our conference will leave refreshed and filled up, ready to keep making an impact in their home country!