Saturday, 25 May 2013 17:22

Healthy Shepherd = Healthy Sheep

Written by Greg Crawford

A note from Tim:  We are heading into a busy month for pastors.  June weddings and graduations add to our normal workload, as do summer mission trips and vacation Bible school, etc. Take a moment to consider one pastor's thoughts about how refreshing yourself can improve your marriage and your ministry.


I recently had the privilege of drawing from a well of refreshing water.  My wife, Nicole, and I just returned from a week that was devoid of pastoral responsibilities.  We benefited from SHOR Ministry (Shepherd’s Haven of Rest) with Charlie and Suzanne Grigsby.  SHOR Ministry provides a refuge for pastors and wives who are overloaded, burned out or hurting.  They do this at no cost to the pastors.

During the retreat we connected with other ministry couples who shared our struggles and discouragements.  It was great to know that we are not alone.  It is even more encouraging to discover that you are NORMAL!  This connection was refreshing in and of itself.

Also, Nicole and I were given the liberty to reconnect as a couple.  The only request of SHOR Ministry was that we fellowship with the entire group during the evening meal.  Other than this minor request, we were free to venture out and be alone with each other.  It is amazing how precious that time proved to be.  Nicole and I laughed more than we have in years.  We experienced small adventures together. We created special memories which are only shared between us.  Even if it meant Nicole falling into a creek!

During this time we began to heal.  You see, we were called to a small Louisiana church seven years ago that was hurting and dying.  In those years we have experienced a lot of hurt.  The pain caused Nicole and I to disconnect as a couple.  Within those seven years we never took time to invest in our marriage.  Sounds excessive, but many of you are in the same boat.  Burned out, overloaded, and running in two different directions.  Thanks to SHOR Ministry, and the Grigsbys, we were forced to take time for ourselves.  It was great!

In this time of rest and revival, I was given a thought.  This is a thought I consider to be a "duh" moment. That thought consisted of four simple words, "Healthy Shepherd = Healthy Sheep."

Many of you may have already learned this lesson, but for this type A guy, it was not always on the radar.  God revealed to me, through some down time and a cleared schedule that I need to prioritize my health.  Our health is holistic.  My mind, body and spirit are a unit.  By protecting my health, I can possibly ensure one of the greatest concerns of my life, the health of the church.  Could it be that as pastors we are one of the keys to a healthy church?  Could it be that we have missed this?  Could it be that buried under our heavy schedules and increased work load we are one key to a healthy church? Could it be as simple as "Healthy Shepherd = Healthy Sheep?"

SHOR Ministry helped me have a "duh" moment that could potentially change the health of our church. SHOR Ministry helped a pastor and his wife see their personal and relational health as very important.  I would encourage you, as you read this testimony, and serve in ministry that you seek people like the Grigsbys and ministries like SHOR.  The health of your church and of your ministry may hang in the balance.


Editor’s Note:  The Shepherd’s Connection also offers couples retreats.  Check our Support tab for Scheduled Retreats.  SHOR Ministry can be contacted at