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BIBLICAL EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF STRESS ON PASTORS’ PRODUCTIVITY

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PASTORS DEALING WITH FATIGUE, STRESS - Baptist & Reflector

 

                                                      ABSTRACT

 This study is on the impact of stress on pastors’ productivity in Abakaliki four (iv) section, Abakaliki District, Assemblies of God, Nigeria. A number of pastors lack the understanding that the problem of stress is detrimental to ministerial productivity, accomplishing the church’s mission and thriving as a congregation. While few pastors and members have an appreciable understanding of the impacts of stress on pastors’ productivity, there is need to create additional awareness of its subtly destructive nature and pastors to prioritize taking better care of their physical and mental health as to enhancing their productivity, total wellbeing, life span and that of the Church. This research work investigated the effects of stress on pastors’ productivity, the nature of stress on pastors’ productivity, the causes of stress among pastors, and the impact of stress on pastors’ productivity with the aim of suggesting possible solutions to the impact of stress on pastors’ productivity in some selected Churches in Abakaliki District. The research design that was employed in this research is the descriptive and field survey method. A random sampling method was used to avoid bias in selecting the respondents and giving each respondent equal opportunity of being selected. A total of 100 respondents were used in the study comprising of three presbyters, five sectional leaders, fifty three reverend ministers/pastors and thirty nine members. Discussions and implications of the findings, suggestions for further research, recommendations and conclusion were equally made. This study reveals that the pastors and members of Abakaliki District (Abakaliki 4 section) have an appreciable understanding of the impacts of stress on pastors productivity yet there is need to create additional awareness of its subtly destructive nature and impact on pastors. It also shows that the nature of stress on pastors in the district included a feeling of indifference and lack of passion towards God and their call, apathy towards God, their family and the congregation, inability to provide sufficient motivation for Gods work, cases of depression and immorality, physical illness, frustration and sudden death. This study recommends firstly, that there should be constant move towards reviewing and improving pastors’ remuneration, and economic wellbeing in Abakaliki District of Assemblies of God. Secondly, as a therapeutic practice, the pastors must give themselves regular and proper rest and relaxation to enhance and refresh their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual stamina.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE………………………………………………………………………………I

DECLARATION PAGE…………………………………………………………………II

APPROVAL PAGE………………………………………………………………………III

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT……………………………………………………………….IV

DEDICATION……………………………………………………………………………V

TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………………..VI

ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………….VII

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1.3       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

1.6       METHODOLOGY

1.7       DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

1.8       LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

1.9       OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1       CONCEPT DELINEATION

2.2       NATURE OF STRESS

2.3       CAUSES OF STRESS

2. 4      TYPES OF STRESS

2.5       STRESS IN THE BIBLE

2.5.1    Old Testament

2.5.2    New Testament

2.6       STRESS IN OTHER RELIGIONS

2.6.1    Hinduism

2.6.2    Islam

2.6.3    African Traditional Religion

2.7       PROBLEM OF STRESS AND PASTORS’ PRODUCTIVITY

2.8       IMPACT OF STRESS ON PASTORS’ PRODUCTIVITY

2.9       SUMMARY OF REVIEW AND LITERATURE GAP

CHAPTER THREE

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA OF STUDY

3.1 BRIEF HISTORY OF ABAKALIKI/ GEOGRAPHY

3.2 OCCUPATION

3.3 RELIGION

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1       DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.2       DATA INTERPRETATION

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1       SUMMARY

5.2       CONCLUSION

5.3       RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION   

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

                In today’s world, stress has become a universal phenomenon, an inevitable part of human existence. Stress is been grappled with in various forms in every workplace, especially in view of the increasing rates of unemployment and job demands placed by employers in today’s work environment, employees are generally working for longer hours, as the rising levels of responsibilities require them to exert themselves even more strenuously to meet the rising expectations in work performance. Occupational stress as the stress associated with too much or too little work, over promotion or under-promotion, conflicting job demands, incompetent superiors, working excessive hours and interactions between work and family commitments (Stranks, 2004, p. 4). Stress can therefore be described as the adverse psychological and physical reactions that occur in an individual as a result of his or her inability to cope with the demands being made on him or her by an event or circumstance (Lahey, 1989, p. 455).

As at the time of this research, the Christian community in Nigeria unfortunately witnessed the loss of three prominent Pastors, of well known denominations who all died suddenly and relatively in their prime ages shortly after discharging their pastoral duties, among other reasons as popular press reports, it is believed that stress must have contributed to their early and shocking demise. It is therefore apparent that pastors are not free from the effects of this deadly malady known as stress.

On the other hand, Pastors represent a unique vocation with a unique set of required emotional demands and job skills. The responsibilities of teaching, preaching, counseling, administrating, and leading characterize their work (Burnette, 2016, p.3). Numerous Christian ministry books in the popular release  indicate that stress in ministry is a reality for many, such as “Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion” by Wayne Cordeiro (2009), “Pastors at Risk” by H. B. London, Jr. and Neil Wiseman (1993), and “Passages of a Pastor” by Paul Cecil (1981). In these and other books, pastors who have struggled with stress and exhaustion have written as an encouragement to pastors, others serving in ministry, and their families. Pastors are beginning to write on their experiences; however, the empirical research has not caught up with examining or addressing this issue especially in our Nigerian setting. Stress is a common condition among pastors and those in other helping professions. Christian ministers are subject to work-related stress that is typical of other human service occupations. Stress in the life of a pastor can result from rigid work schedules, bureaucracy, denominational structures, conflicts between personal and congregational needs, high congregational expectations, and impoverished or conflicted personal relationships (Miner et al., 2010, p.83).

 

REFERENCES

Abdul H. (2002) Saluh Muslim(Supererogatory Prayer). Ede: Moyanjuola Publishers Islamic Cultural Centre p. 74- 76.

Abdur- Rahman I.(1984) Islam in Nigeria. Zaria: Gaskiya Corporation Limited.

Abul-Fazl E. (1994)Muslims & Islamic Law in Southern Nigeria. Ede: Moyanjuola Publishers Islamic Cultural Centre, pp. 300-333.

Ade S. (1999) Architectural Design of the Mosque in Islam: Ondo State as a case study in Oye Ogun Journal of Arts, Vol. viii, P. 44 – 54.

Adams D. J. (1980) Understanding and Managing Stress. A Book of Readings. New York:          University Associates, Inc.

Atkinson, Jacqueline (1994) Coping with Stress at Work. London: Thorsons.          

Ariarajah W. (1991) Hindus and Christians: A Century of Protestant Ecumenical Thought. Currents of Encounter. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi and Grand Rapids, USA: William B. Eerdmans. p 20.

Burnette, Crystal Mary, (2016) Burnout Among Pastors in Local Church Ministry in Relation to Pastor, Congregation Member, and Church Organizational Outcomes“All Dissertations.

Barna, G. (1999) Habits of highly effective churches. Ventura, CA: Regal Books.

Beasley, M. (1996) Pastors Under Stress. New York: Publishers U.S.A.

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