Sarah’s Tent …
Project Director/Founder:  Shannon Parish
STAGE: Est. 1997 – Solid Growth

When it began …

“In March of 1997, while searching the Internet for something that would be specifically for Pastors’ and Ministers’ Wives in the way of chats, bulletin boards, or . . . something, an amazing thing took place that forever changed my life and the life of countless other ministry women and pastors’ wives.

As a wife we often fall between the cracks, have hurts and struggles and unrealistic expectations put upon us …  Read more …

The Realization …

After a decade listening to and speaking to women from all denominations it has become clear that all the books, tapes, seminars and counseling that is available today, isn’t enough.  Answers are hard to find when you approach them from your mind. The answers – and the problems – that we live with every day are found in the heart … buried by the mind.

The impact of church experiences when ministering to a wide range of problems, issues and people leaves leaders and those whom they serve, often confused and doubting their faith and relationship with God.  Divorce among Christians is at an all time high – especially if they are in ministry.

The Conclusion …

One cannot negate a bad experience with words, pat answers and more sermons.  The mind is master of all in masking hidden truth and lies.  Only another experience, led by a skilled facilitator will reveal the answers that people desperately seek to stop the madness of depression and doubt that church and life crisis brings.

The Facts*

  • 1,500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

  • 4,000 new churches begin each year, but over 7,000 churches close.

  • 50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce

  • 80% of pastors and 84% percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could … but have no other way of making a living.

  • 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years. Ninety percent of pastors said their seminary or Bible school training did very little in preparing them for actual ministry.

  • 85% of pastors said their greatest problem is they are burned out from trying to deal with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. 90% said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

  • 80% of pastors’ wives feel pressured to do things and be something in the church that they are not.

  • By the time a pastor and his or her church is in crisis, they are most often in financial ruin as well and cannot afford outside intervention or guidance besides what is already provided for them by their governing boards and associations … if available at all.

  • Pastors and their spouses who enter the senior pastor position after the moral failure of a previous pastor are ill equipped to handle the overwhelming emotions of betrayal and distrust they will now face with their leaders and church members. This in turn impacts these men and women who are called “After Pastors” in am amplified way from ‘normal’ ministry.  The resources for these pastors are less available or even known than any other resource.

Statistics like these not only impact the pastor they devastate marriages, children and the church members.  The ripple effect is felt worldwide as we read and hear about pastors falling into sexual immorality and pastors’ wives murdering their husbands.

Imagine how this affects those who have suffered sexual abuse as well as emotional, physical and mental abuse in their home and family life – then magnify it by the horrendous betrayal that accompanies church crisis … the last ‘safe’ place they know.

The Solution …

As community web sites for pastors wives increased and women began to enjoy speaking with one another and sharing their experiences, it was time for Sarah’s Tent to change the focus of being “just another site for pastors’ wives”. 

Now is the time to provide powerful resources for resolution, recovery, empowerment and healing!

Providing

  • Professionals who are skilled in providing experiential learning that reveals true motives and intentions buried deep inside the individual that continues to bear the fruit of failure and chaos.

  • Financial assistance for churches and pastors in crisis.

  • Recovery workshops and crisis intervention.

  • Continued Leadership Training and goal setting.

  • Experiential learning that provides healing, restoration, purpose and direction.

  • Support network of like minded people who reinforce positive solutions and renewed thinking which reproduce successful programs and positive community service.

  • Special teams and resources for recovery from sexual abuse as well as emotional, physical and mental abuse..

Experiential Learning Addresses Symptoms Such As

  • Unusual mood swings that may include weeping without just cause, anger, or depression

  • Exhaustion

  • Paranoia and suspicion

  • Weight change, including gain or loss

  • Moments of panic and feeling totally overwhelmed

  • Fantasizing about dying or running away to get away from the pressure

  • Fight-or-flight cycles where you rise up to intimidate and conquer others or run away from difficulties just to avoid them

  • Insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep, which can lead to a reliance on sleeping pills

  • Too frequent use of alcohol or tobacco

  • High blood pressure

  • Comforting yourself with unhealthy foods packed with fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates

  • General irritability

  • Reckless driving

  • Change in sexual desire of either noticeable increase or decrease

  • Notable ongoing sexual temptation

  • Health-related issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, heart trouble, chronic sickness, and stomach problems including ulcers

  • A victim mentality that sees the world as against you and everyone as an enemy to varying degrees

  • Shopping sprees and unnecessary financial spending

  • Reliance on caffeine to self-medicate

  • Children, friends, and loved ones begin to feel like yet another burden

  • Personality Disorders

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Alienation and isolation in relationships including from spouse, children, family and friends

  • Defensive behavior with a need to exaggerate information to regain perceived ‘control’.

 

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