Eastern Regional Association
Fall 2012 Advocate Newsletter
If you are an Advocate, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to serve your Pastor through this role of encouragement. As you will find from this issue, there is a huge need for lay people to gather around and lift up the arms of their leaders, just as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. I firmly believe that healthy Pastors will have joyful, healthy churches, because they are sharing out of the abundance in their lives and not out of frustration and spiritual dryness. So your role will serve to benefit your whole congregation!

If you are a Pastor, and are receiving this, it is because you have not shared with our office the name of an Advocate that you would like to have receive this. We strongly encourage you to take the time to identify one or more persons who could pray for you and advocate your health as Pastor of the flock, to the other members of the body.
This is our first digital version of this newsletter. The first 2 issues were printed as examples to show the kind of material that would be included. Due to the cost of printing and mailing we will produce this digital version on a quarterly basis from now on.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and the second Sunday of October is Pastor Appreciation Sunday, which is quickly approaching! I would encourage you to think of something different this year that your church hasn't done before that would honor your pastor and bless the whole family. Several suggestions are listed below. The next few weeks would be a great time to start planning!

I hope you are challenged by the statistics, blessed by David's article, and are mobilized to be an encourager, prayer warrior, and advocate for your Pastor!

Grace, Greg

"Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness." Hebrews 13:7 MSG
Pastor's Perspective  
"Often, I'm tired."

"He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31, ESV)

The Holy Spirit, through the Prophet Isaiah, said that even the youths and young men will be weary and fall. How much more the older men and women? Notice the answer? They who WAIT upon the Lord--linger with the Lord, take time to be with Him--shall renew, mount up, run, and walk unhindered. That's the kind of pastor or leader I would want to lead me, to model life for me.


Most churches don't have any idea what's happening to their pastor as years of people-ministry and spiritual warfare take their toll. So when their shepherd "burns out," many churches simply replace the pastor with another pastor. Before long they find he too needs replacing. Is that God's plan for those gifted people He gives to the body of Christ to build it up? Is that the future He has ordained for churches-a constant stream of committees on the search to replace tired and hurt shepherds? I'm hoping for this column in The Advocate to give you a "Pastor's Perspective" as you seek to walk out your advocacy for your pastor. My hope is that you will gain insight into pastoral ministry as you read The Advocate, and particularly this column.


You can make a difference for your pastor, and your church. You can be sure that your pastor is loved, cared for, honored, and able to get the time and refreshment necessary to "run and not be weary." You can ask that he receive time away. You can gather a couple of people to be prayer support for the pastoral family. Read the following book and see what the Holy Spirit shows you as you consider Wayne's experience and your pastor's.

Dave Alves Signature Dave Alves 

Dr. David C. Alves 

Director of Pastoral Health

Eastern Regional Association

Leading on Empty
Recommended Resource:

"Leading on Empty", by Wayne Cordeiro
This book will give you special insight into the experience of pastors who endure the stresses of ministry over long periods without rest.



Some Pastoral Statistics

Dr. Richard Germaine from Barnabas Ministries Inc. Shared the following data about Pastoral Health at the 2012 New Life Conference Leadership appreciation Dinner:


  • Pastors are the loneliest profession in America
  • 50% of all Pastors' marriages will end in divorce
  • Pastors today are expected to be proficient in 16 different areas of ministry.
  • 1,800 pastors leave the ministry monthly
  • 70% fight depression
  • 80% of Pastors (84% of wives) feel unqualified
  • 61% have no close friend/confidant/mentor
  • 50% would leave if they could afford to.
  • 80% spend less than 15 mins. in prayer daily.
 Available Resources


FREE vacation spots for Pastors

(Contact the Eastern Regional Office for details and availability)

  • Somerville Suite at Meetinghouse Village, Kittery, ME
  • Oasis Cottage at Alton Bay, NH
  • Ministers House at Dowling Park, FL
  • The Primrose Inn, Bar Harbor, ME

 Upcoming Events

  • NECG
  • AC Leaders Conference , The Cove North Carolina, Feb. 26-28, 2012

 Recommended Reading

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Scazzero

 Book Emotional Health Spirituality


Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Barton

Book Strengthing the Soul 


Margin by Swenson

Book - Margin 


Please contact the Regional Office for more information on any of these resources for your Pastor.



  • If you have "tons" of frequent flyer miles, let the pastor and his family go somewhere on them.
  • If you own a time share, arrange to have your pastoral    family spend 10 days there. You or a team handle the details.  Make sure you arrange with the leadership and the pastor's family in advance, so that they can work together to carve out the 10 days.
  • Provide a family membership at the local health club, golf course, or Planet Fitness.
  • Buy them an answering machine and encourage them to use it, especially during meal times. Let them know you are going to test them and see if it is on.
  • Arrange for a day out for the whole family, including a picnic just for them.
  • Give each of the staff kids a coupon book to McDonald's.               
  • If you are at the age when you could be a grandparent, or are one, be surrogate grandparents to the pastor's kids.  We all need to stay connected inter-generationally.
  • During the Christmas program, video specifically the staff kids and give the parents the cassette.
  • Take your pastor and spouse out to dinner and don't talk about church at all. That will be a test of discipline, and it will be good for each of you!
  • Leave cinnamon rolls on the pastor's front porch (with a note telling who they are from). Make sure they're out of the way of animals.
  • Invite the couple to a murder mystery dinner.  These are a barrel of fun, especially if you get into costume and really play the parts.
  • Invite the couple to take ballroom dance classes with you. You pay. Then for graduation get all dressed up and dance up a storm.
  • If you live in a city with historic districts, take a walking tour with the pastoral couple and have a meal at a sidewalk cafe.
  • Consider taking the pastor's kids Christmas shopping so the kids can buy "real presents" for their parents.


--Adapted by David Alves from "Support Your Local Pastor",

 by Wes Roberts, p. 82.


Advocate Cartoon