Archive for the ‘clergy’ Category

Demonic influences: Beware the devil you know

Belief in the existence of powerful supernatural evil beings was one of the strongest predictors of poor mental health in young adults, according to a new study. Yet having poor mental health did not lead to greater belief in demonic forces.

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Mere humanity: Clergy who are humble, accessible may boost their own health as well as the congregation's

Many clergy worry that being honest about their own limitations may be seen as a sign of weakness. Yet new research suggests that not only do congregation members value pastors who are approachable, and share their humanity, but that feeling compelled to live up to unrealistic standards of spiritual perfection can take a debilitating toll on the mental health of pastors.

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A Christmas story: How humility can help de-stress new parents, build tolerance

New research on humility is revealing how “the quiet virtue” may help build peace in both the lives of individuals and in diverse cultures. Among the more immediate beneficiaries: Couples having their first child.

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The gift of life, helping the stranger and a 'honeymoon effect?' for pastors

Who is more likely to be nice this holiday season? New research sheds light on the relation between religion and blood donation, how one’s image of God influences an individual’s sense of moral obligation and likelihood to volunteer and whether being new to a congregation can lower or heighten stress levels for clergy.

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Saying 'I do' may reduce religious ties, but parenthood boosts rate of return for couples AND singles

Even as young adults increasingly put off marriage, the traditional assumption that saying “I do” at the altar can help pump new vibrancy into congregational life no longer appears valid, new research indicates. What does bring young adults back to religious congregations is having children. And it is not just married couples with children that are filling pews.

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Are clergy underpaid? New study reveals rising wages, shorter hours and a diminishing wage gap

The price of a clerical calling is declining along with the wage gap that separates them from other college-educated Americans, according to a new study analyzing Current Population Survey data from 1976 to 2013. Just how much? The study found clergy are gaining ground financially faster than more than nine in 10 Americans with college degrees.

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Worshipping alone: Studies find divorce retains its sting in faith communities

The religious stigma surrounding divorce remains a powerful source of anguish for believers, but few congregations have ministries for people recovering from failed marriages, new studies find. Believers are finding solace in a personal relationship with the divine, but many report feeling alone and judged at communal services across faith traditions, the research indicates.

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Saving grace: The leadership virtue that can help congregations work through conflict

Science is suggesting an effective pastoral response to working through conflict. Humility. Intellectual humility in particular. New research projects are finding the more pastors are perceived to be intellectually humble, the more likely they are to be forgiven by people who took offense at something they said or did. This was especially the case in one study for perceived transgressions in the area of religious beliefs, values or convictions, core areas of religious identity that have the potential to tear asunder congregations.

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Balancing sin and forgiveness on the path to a healthy life

How can believers buffer the negative effects of an unhealthy preoccupation with transgressions while benefiting from sin’s appeal to humility in being able to accurately assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses? Forgiveness may be one good place to start, according to a new study. Americans who reported experiencing being frequently forgiven by God were far less likely to show symptoms of depression and other mental health ills associated with strong beliefs in the fallen nature of humankind.

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Is your congregation a clergy killer? How churchgoers matter to mental health of pastors

Clergy who serve flocks that support them in their times of need and let their pastors know how much they mean to them are much more likely to be satisfied in their ministry and have a higher quality of life, according to a new study. However, the more clergy feel isolated in their work and forced to meet unreasonable demands, the more likely they are to suffer anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion, research indicated.

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