Battered Pastors with Weary Souls

Rev. Dr. Alfred Poirier’s doctoral dissertation at Westminster Seminary was overseen by Rev. Dr. David Powlison and published by Baker as The Peacemaking Pastor. In it, Pastor Poirier speaks candidly about his exhaustion and frustration related to ongoing struggles with conflict in the church:

I did not plan to be a heretic. It just happened. I woke one day to find in the mirror a pastor with a tired face and a weary soul. I had entered the pastorate eager to walk in the footsteps of the pastorate and practice what the ancient church called the care of souls (cura animarum). But I woke that day frightened to find that I did not care anymore. I was tired of the conflicts, the sin, the gossip, the threats, the divisions, and the dissensions. You know what they look like … ” The Peacemaking Pastor

I thought of Pastor Poirier, and the many—MANY—other exhausted, hurt pastors I have served over the years as I read this blog series by Todd Pruitt:

Battered Pastors (Part 1 of 5)

Oh oh oh … how deeply I desire that we sheep would learn to protect and guard our leaders so that such resources would never be needed.


About Tara Barthel

Tara Klena Barthel formerly served as the Director of the Institute for Christian Conciliation. As such, she oversaw hundreds of conciliation cases (including conflicted church interventions) through the international network of trained conciliators. Tara also provided oversight and leadership for all advanced conciliator training. Currently, she serves her family as a homemaker while occasionally accepting cases as a mediator, arbitrator, and conflicted church intervention team member. Currently enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary and pursuing her Master's Degree in Religion, Tara consults with businesses and ministries on the legal risk management issues attendant to conflict; designs and presents custom training on biblical conflict resolution for churches, missions agencies, and parachurch organizations; speaks frequently at women’s conferences and retreats; and is currently working on many new writing projects. Tara is the author of the Living the Gospel in Relationships video series and co-author of Peacemaking Women—Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict (Baker Books, 2005), and Redeeming Church Conflicts--Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care (Baker Books, 2012; second imprint Hendrickson Publishers 2016). Prior to moving to Billings, Montana to join the staff of Peacemaker Ministries, Tara worked as an attorney and business consultant in Chicago. Tara earned her law degree and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her B.A. in psychology from Augustana College (Illinois).
This entry was posted in Conflicts involving church leaders, Conflicts with our youth pastor, HOPE in the midst of conflict, RedeemingLINKS. Bookmark the permalink.

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