Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
burnout, expectations, idealism, longevity, realism, resiliency
Christianity | Counseling | Counseling Psychology | Practical Theology | Psychology
Bond, Dwayne, "Idealism & Reality: A Phenomenological Exploration of Pastoral Expectations & Ministry Realities Experienced by Protestant Church Planting Pastors" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 905.
With the majority of literature focused on reducing clergy stressors, there is a need to explore how pastors respond when ministry idealism dissipates, while familial and congregational expectations increase. When idealized expectations fade, how do clergy experience resiliency? The purpose of this study was to explore how idealism affects clergy resiliency and their responses, coping, and longevity in ministry. Ten new church-planting Protestant pastors were selected using snowball sampling. Each pastor was interviewed. Data from the two-hour in-depth interviews was collected, organized and analyzed. The findings for each interview were compared and contrasted, and themes were identified - a) utilizing coping strategies during stressful and difficult seasons, b) locating personal identity in Christ alone, c) having relational support systems, and d) maintaining a healthy relationship with his wife.