On Rats and the Holy Ministry

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Here’s something a little off the beaten path for you:

Reciprocal Affiliation Among Adolescent Rats During a Mild Group Stressor Predicts Mammary Tumors and Lifespan

I’ll allow the more medically inclined in our midst to verify this for me, but as I read this, what it is saying is that when leaders have a support group, they tend to live longer. But if the leaders are isolated, that has a negative impact on their health/lifespan, even if they continue to play their leadership role.

Now what does this have to do with the Holy Ministry? Let me count the ways:

1. Don’t get bent out of shape over the “leader” language. Just run with me on this.

2. Leaders may be effective in their role to some detriment to their own health and well being.

3. A leader is ineffective if they are dead, on disability, incapacitated due to stress or other external factors.

4. Pastors serve as care givers but rarely are care-receivers. This is the pastoral corollary to “doctors make the worst patients.”

5. We pastors would do well to tend to our own house (including the temple which is our body/soul/mind) if we wish to be of service to the household of faith.

6. Sometimes being a pastor feels like being a rat…no that’s not right!

Thanks to Rebellious Pastor’s Wife for pointing this article out to me!

-DMR

4 thoughts on “On Rats and the Holy Ministry”

  1. Excellent points. Coming to understand this concept has made a big difference for my husband (and me). There seem to be some existing structures in the LCMS intended to accomplish this kind of support, but generally those have not been effective in our case. I don't know if that was because of us or the structures.

  2. Excellent points. Coming to understand this concept has made a big difference for my husband (and me). There seem to be some existing structures in the LCMS intended to accomplish this kind of support, but generally those have not been effective in our case. I don't know if that was because of us or the structures.

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