By Diana Chandler
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Brian Croft jokes that masks are the new “color of the carpet argument” in churches, with similarly poor outcomes. Pastors are resigning from the stress “kind of in a way I’ve never really seen.”
The founder of Practical Shepherding transitioned from fulltime pastoring to lead the shepherding outreach fulltime in January, pulled by a need for coaching and counseling that has steadily increased among pastors over the past decade.
Then came COVID-19.
“I know of pastors who are quitting just over the stress of this issue and what it’s causing in their churches, and I know churches splitting over whether you should wear a mask or not,” Croft said. “COVID has impacted every pastor to some degree. Usually it has brought more challenges and more difficulty.”
Pastors are pulled by conflicting views among congregants over whether to mask or not to mask, whether to meet in person or virtually, or whether social distancing is even necessary. A divisive political year has compounded the issues, Croft said. [Read more…]