Did you know that 42% of pastors considered quitting full-time ministry last year? That was a study done in 2022 by Barna Group. Just two years ago, more than 1,700 pastors left ministry each month, according to Lifeway. Why are we seeing this trend? The biggest reason is burnout.
In this episode, you will hear from Zach and Anne Imboden; you may remember Anne from last week’s episode. Zach has been in pastoral ministry for 20 years, and he will give us a front-row seat to what burnout looks like and how we, as the Church, can best support our pastors. We can learn what burnout can look like for any of us, regardless of our profession.
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Ep 67 Burnout Among Pastors ~ Zach a& Anne Imboden
Transcript is auto-generated.
pastor, zach, life, god, church, feeling, praying, people, burnout, ministry, walked, friends, pastoral ministry, kids, years, struggling, love, wrestle, reclaimed, season
Anne Imboden, Zach Imboden, Denisha Workizer
Denisha Workizer 00:00
Did you know that 42% of pastors considered quitting full time ministry in the last year? And that was a study done in 2022 by Barna Group? And just two years ago, more than 1700 pastors left ministry each month according to Lifeway, why are we seeing this trend? The biggest reason is burnout. In this episode, you'll hear from Zach and and Imboden, you may remember and from last week's episode, Zach has been in pastoral ministry for 20 years, and he is going to give us a front row seat to what burnout looks like and ways that we as the church can best support our pastors. I think through his honesty, we will learn what burnout can look like for any of us, regardless of our profession. Let's dive in. Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Denisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. Well, hello, and welcome to episode 67 of living the Reclaim life podcast. I am really excited today to introduce you to my new friends Zack and Ann Imboden. And they have been married for 15 years. They have two elementary aged kids. And Zach has been in pastoral ministry for the past 20 years. And we're looking forward today to just a great conversation about leadership about burnout, and just the journey that they have walked through together. If you listen to the last week you caught and I'm sharing her personal story with you. And if you missed it, I really encourage you to go back and check that out. Her testimony is just incredible, and how God has walked her through just such amazing times in her life and the lessons that she's learned. And she also has a blog called glory and the grind. And we'll put those in the show notes. So be sure to check that out. So Zach, and and Welcome to Living the reclaimed life. Thanks for inviting us
Anne Imboden 02:15
on. Yes, thank you. It's good to be back.
Denisha Workizer 02:18
Yes, thanks for coming on. I'm so excited about today's conversation. I served as a pastor at our church for 10 years. And from what I have heard, statistically, pastors tend to stay about four to five years if we look at the average. And so I just want to say Praise God for 20 years in pastoral ministry for us, Zack, and I would love to hear your journey about that. So you kick us off where wherever you'd like to start.
Zach Imboden 02:45
Yeah, well, thanks for let us be part of your steer podcast, and they'll share a little bit of our story with you and your listeners. And so, yeah, so and I've been married 15 I was in ministry before we got married. And so kind of our whole married life. We've been in professional and pastoral ministry, and served in a church, Sacramento served in a church in Tucson. And then most recently, we were serving in the church in Mississippi played almost every type of role you could possibly have on the life of the church. So I understand lots of different roles and offer up things there. And so I would say if I go back, most so now, so we recently stepped out of our role in April of 2022. With kind of, we were recognizing and I was recognized in my life, just some signs of burnout, and some really significant ways. And that just were very unique that I've never experienced before. And so it kind of made me hit pause and go, Okay, guys, what's going on? And so if I go back a couple years, and I'll leave that back up to that moment to where we got to a few months ago. Yeah, I was in a great job, great church, great people. And but I was I was recognizing, I think, looking back on it. I was doing more than I should have. And more than I was capable of doing in some sense. And I think if I wouldn't say I wouldn't say that then but I would say now like I was like I my belief in God was too small. And like I had to do it or nobody else was in or God wasn't going to show up. And and so I recognized in the sense of a too long of a season my life a few years probably going too hard too fast for too long and playing in not into demands of other people I would say but probably into my own personal demands or ambition that I wanted. And I think over a long season of that even pre COVID Then during COVID and then that kind of not post but whatever we're in now with COVID Yeah, just played are all things that were playing factors in those things as well for me just saying okay, like that personal ambition and that personal I'm trying to keep up with the demands that I think I put on myself. And then, therefore, there was just a standard there that I thought other people were putting on me over time as well, too. And I think, in the midst of that, I knew God was doing things in our life and things in my life. But I, and I was trusting him. I was I was a pastor, and all those things, you do the right things, and I was praying, and I was loving people. I was caring for people, and God was doing good things in my life. But I would also the other thing I think I learned, looking back on that season is, think Ruth Haley Barton. She calls discernment, the prayer of indifference. And, and what I what she was saying by that is like, when we pray, like God, I pray this thing would happen, and I really do care that it happens. And she would say, discernment is the prayer of indifference. God, I don't care what you do. God, this is my preference, this is what I want you to do. But if you do that, and great, but if you want to do something else, that's great with me as well, too. And, and I look back into mice in my own heart and my own soul last few years, and I recognize God was doing good, good things in me, but my prayer and the things that I was longing for weren't prayers of indifference. They're like, God, I really need you to do this. And I really need you to show up. And God, I really need you to do this. Therefore, I think I started acting in ways that were not trusting of God in those moments. And I started playing more God than God playing God in my life, like, I'm gonna make this happen, God wherever you show up or not. And and so I think the sense of, of too many, me working too hard, and doing too much, and a sense of me, starting to trust God bless in my life in some ways. And then in a sense of not, yeah, not really trusting God with Yeah, me, our family, my work led us as a different lead me to different spots to recognize, oh, my body is starting to react in ways that aren't healthy. I'm starting to react in ways that are unhealthy things like anxiety attacks that I've never experienced before. Like, really struggling to sleep in ways that I've never experienced, where I've had moments where, like, stress and all those things that come but nothing like it was in this past year. Probably a ways of just fatigue, of self doubt. There's probably other probably other things you get by Yeah, facing this disengagement, probably emotionally and relationships.
Anne Imboden 07:43
Yeah, there were definitely a lot of a lot of outward signs that we were seeing in him, he saw them in himself. And I saw them too, just like you said, just chronic fatigue. He was just always tired. It didn't matter how much sleep he'd gotten the night before he was sleeping on the couch in the middle of the day, which never does that. Not being and then not being able to sleep feeling very anxious, feeling nauseous, like having physical nausea, physical, you know, heart palpitations, and you know, feeling clammy. And I mean, just all those, you know, almost feeling physically ill before walking into meetings, or before going to work the next day, it was always on the night before he had to go to church. That's when he knew, you know, it was those who was getting go to work. Yes, sorry, go to work, or work at church. The difference where he was feeling just physically, ill, yeah, definitely feeling, sensing that he was disengaging from me disengaging from our kids, he was not emotionally showing up for us. He was very stoic was hard for him, you know, to express joy, or, you know, he just was almost robotic. And you know, and how he was responding to us.
Zach Imboden 08:56
But if we look back, we see moments of those things the last couple of years, yeah. Which then all just kind of lasts for less than that about six months period of time with 2021 to 22, where it just became much more severe and much more serious for us. And so, like, those are things that we look back over the last couple years, and we saw moments of those, right, but it all kind of came to a head part with all six months ago where it became much more extreme.
Anne Imboden 09:21
Yeah, I would, I would say that's true, too. Yeah. Just being like emotionally raw, you know, it didn't take much to trigger an emotional response in him. He was, you know, yeah, crying things that he doesn't typically cry about, you know, or just feeling very, yeah, even just coming home after a day of work at church and just absolutely falling apart and not being able to make it through a conversation and just feeling very, very raw, I would say and the one thing he kept saying to me is, you know, my soul is exhausted. My soul just feels exhausted, like I have nothing left in the tank. And so we just yeah, we both just knew like something's Something's really wrong here. And like this is not just, and we've been through short seasons of he's had, it's you know, it's a rough season at church, there's a lot going on, there's a lot of stress, there's a lot of things, it makes sense that you're struggling right now. But this was different. This never got better. It was just day after day after day, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. And yeah, I think seeing him physically disengaged, was a big red flag. And as someone who's walked through depression, myself, I recognized it. I knew, Okay, I know what that is. And I know that you can't just leave that alone, you know, and hope it gets better. And if anything, we've said, like, that's the gift of, you know, empathy that God's given me because I've walked through it before because I've, you know, disengaged, because I've not been able to get myself out of bed before I know what that looks like. So I was able to recognize him and give him the empathy that he needed. And, you know, not just say, alright, snap out of it, you know, like, you gotta, you gotta get over this because you got a paycheck to earn, and we're counting on you, you know, you got me and the kids to think about and stop being selfish, which I think a lot of spouses who don't understand, you know, what depression looks like, what anxiety looks like, that is their knee jerk response, it's very easy to construe. Yeah, it is, yeah, I mean, you need you need them to get over it, you need them to, to, you know, to engage again, because they are kept, you know, we are counting on him. And so it's, it's very easy to become resentful, you know, and to go, okay, like, enough already. Like, I know, I know, you're struggling, but we're struggling more without, without your presence in our family right now. And I had to fight that a lot. Even. And I, you know, I would almost joke with him and say, Okay, I have to remind myself, you're not being a jerk, you're just sick. You're not a jerk. You're just sick. You know, so when he wasn't, you know, able to complete just the most normal things that he would normally do around the house. Like, I couldn't, I couldn't count on him to even accomplish those things. Not because he was purposely, you know, burdening us, but because he just couldn't, and his brain was not firing the way that it normally would. And he was not, yeah, he wasn't himself. And I had to tell our kids that a lot when they were, you know, his daddy, okay, and why is that he's still sleeping, and why isn't he, you know, like, he's sick, he's sick. And we have to treat him like he's sick. Not like, he's, you know, just being a bad husband or a bad dad, like, we have to treat him like he's being like, he is sick, because that really, you know, and he more now than ever before, he needs our help, he needs our grace. He needs our patients. You know, he needs us to get through this. And so, but yeah, it was very clear, something needed to change, you know. And honestly, it was not the, him quitting his job was not the first thing we considered it was like, okay, that's the most extreme thing we can do. That is a last resort. You know, like, let's, you know, let's, you know, get him on medication. Let's get him a therapist, like sent him like on a mental health retreat, you know, like, Let's do everything else. Let's do everything else we possibly can. And if that doesn't work, then maybe we'll consider resigning you know, because that seems really extreme was Yeah. Was not our first choice. That was sort of like okay.
Denisha Workizer 13:42
Yeah, that was the end of the road after you had walked out so many other things because I think there's a lot of pressure on pastors to have, you're doing God's work. So you you get up and you keep doing it but when our bodies kind of yell at us and tell us Okay, enough is enough. Like this is how much I can handle that was very wise. I love the compassion that your kids got to witness in this set. Dad isn't being a jerk he's not trying to die love that they hear about that a lot. You know of people, whether it be the male or the female, you know, in the marriage that when we come to the point we hit that end of the road and our bodies say it's time to stop sometimes we're not met with that compassion and that understanding so I think that's I think your kids in the future that is just such a beautiful gift to give them to understand what was happening now as a pastor what pressures did you feel Zach is you you know, you're going through this this is very real. This is affecting your everyday this is impacting your family. And you're a get it done kind of guy right? You're that's how you're leading at the capacity you're leading at. What were you thinking what were the even even if you don't mind even sharing maybe some of the lies you had to process that turned into truth. But what was going on in your mind during that time?
Zach Imboden 15:03
That's a good question. Yeah, I think if I look back to this last year, especially in the lies that I was trying to battle my head was, is my worth. Especially my in my worth in God? Is it not? Isn't it who I am? Or is it what I produce? And I think that I had to really wrestle with that is, Does God love me based upon just because he loves me? Or is it basically based upon what I do and in my role, or my title and position, and and so I like that there's days that was really hard for me to rustle between the difference like, it was even even when we stepped out, like having to wrestle through those things still, like, I'm just, I'm not engaging, or I'm not doing the things I've done for last 20 years of my life, and so does God. Does God still show up for me in ways when I'm not producing? And it was like, God was really clear, and I was really good, and God and other people in my life, just remind me of those things. But in your head, you start to play those mind games a little bit. with who you are, yeah. The other things I questioned I'd wrestle with, like, just the way I'm always gonna be Now, is this the word? Is it just my tension? And this is just my new reality in life? What is a new normal gonna look like? And am I gonna like it? Going forward? Like, where? What does my life look like going forward? And not having certainly there were created questions and doubt of what does that look like? What does life look like if whatever this, whatever this is, and going through it? What what do I do? What does my life look like? And how do I engage my family, my kids, my relationship, work, whatever that is. And so those are all questions I remember, really wrestling through and just having to ultimately get to a spot to springers back to God and go, they're not they're not up for me to decide. And I put I could trust God with those things, and let him show up in those moments. But those are a real wrestling question that I had to wrestle with for a long time.
Anne Imboden 17:11
I definitely saw him questioning his value. But you know, because even while he was still working, I would say, okay, because take, you know, take Sunday off, like, just take a personal take, take a mental health day, let let them know, let the leadership now like you, you can't come in, or you need to work from home for a week, you know, and his response was, I can't do that. There's an expectation I need to be there. I need to be like, yeah, like him wanting to meet the expectation that was set on set on him and not feeling like he could even request that, you know, like, I can't, I can't ask for that no one else is asking for that no one else takes personal days, no one else does that, like I need, I need to show up, I need to be there. And definitely, I felt like he was placing his value. And like he said in his performance at work, and and, you know, doing everything that was being asked of him and expected of him. And that's where he found value. And so if he couldn't do that, if he had to say, Hey, I can't, I can't do that. I kind of pull back. Would they still find him valuable? You know, would they still, you know, think that it was that they wanted him there? You know, if he couldn't handle what they were giving him? Was he even the right person for the job. And so maybe he was doubting that. And that was something you know, we had to keep talking about, like you're about you. You hold value as a father and as a husband, as a brother, as a friend. Those are far more important than who you are as a pastor, you know, and your value is in the relationships that you build with the people that you have loved on and served. It is not about whether you can say you are the connections, Pastor, groups, Pastor, associate, Pastor, whatever, you know, your title may be, but your value is in Yeah, in the relationships that you've built. I think too, I saw him, you know, in when we're trying to decide, do we need to step down? You know, what would that look like? You know, we just moved here. I mean, he resigned only eight months after he took the job. And so he was really struggling with that like, but I uprooted us, you know, we were in Tucson seven years. And I asked you and our kids to leave our community and our life and everything that we built like the kids and I we were really happy in Tucson. And it was really hard for us to leave and come all the way here and you know, the intent was that this would be where we'd stay until our kids graduated high school that we were going to finally put down roots and be in one spot. And and that was the plan and so this was not like resigning after only eight months was not What we had in mind, and he really started struggling with like, I am failing, like, I'm failing you guys, I'm failing you and the kids in our family and like, I asked you to do this, and I couldn't even make it a year, like, what does that say about me, as you know, as the leader of our family, you know, you guys trusted me, and you followed me here. And I couldn't, I couldn't deliver. And so that those were absolutely lies from the enemy. That was the enemy saying, like, you have messed up, you know, and, yeah, you've let everybody down, you let you know, your leadership at church down, you've let your family down, and that none of it was true. That's not I never once thought that, you know, we and now certainly now that we've been been in the season for several months, like we've said, over and over, we have no regrets. We have no regrets about coming here. We know coming here to Mississippi was we followed God here. It wasn't me following Zach. It was us as a family following God here. And we know that was the right decision. We've, you know, even if it was just so that we could go through what we're going through, it was all worth it. And we were obedient and that and we trust that you know, and that he'll, he'll make it beautiful. You know, everything that we've been through, he'll turn it into something beautiful. So
Zach Imboden 21:20
we we angle earlier this year, we joke like God will lead us out of the desert of Tucson to lead us back into the desert.
Zach Imboden 21:32
Out in the desert to get our attention on some things. Yes. So and so that it's our desert to do this back into the desert. Yeah, that's a beautiful picture.
Denisha Workizer 21:41
Because God's after the long game, and your life and your family's life. He's after that long game. So this, this disruption in your life, which you didn't see coming, he knew, right? He's got that long game, in the middle of waiting for that next plan. What is it like for you guys right now. And I know that's tender, because this is happening right now. And I just want to say I appreciate so much your vulnerability and sharing really what it feels like. Because I think it's great for pastors who are listening, because we have a lot of people in ministry who reach out Listen, the podcast, and also for people who are listening that can just say I can identify with how you felt, I have felt that way about my family or my job, or just I have had that that time where I've struggled getting out of bed or getting off the couch. So thank you for making it real and just being able to just describe to us being willing to describe to us what you're really going through. So what is it like in the waiting for you right now?
Zach Imboden 22:40
Yeah, it's one of the things like I want it to be over with, but I don't want it to end there. And I really do mean that, like, I got back to like, where my heart was praying a year or last two years about direction and our life and I Yeah, was my were my hands open, they were kinda open. But they weren't as open as I, as they are now. And so the sense of even, like, I think God's calling us back into ministry, and I'm pretty sure that but if it's, if it's not, that's okay. If God has a job for us down the street at doing this thing like that I have, I'm okay with that. The sense of peace and contentment, I got his pride down in me. And it's been, it's been really significant. And so the sense where a year ago choose go out only ever would have said that, like, sure I'll step out and let's go work at this place and do that for the next day in their life. That never would have been an option. And so I go back to that like that prayer of indifference and really pray that and really mean it to go, Okay, God, whatever you want, I'm okay with, and really, really mediate, not put that mind game with God, like, I'm really gonna say it, but only because I think if I say you actually might come through with it. And so, but I really pray that go, God, whatever, whatever you really want to do, I'm gonna trust you, and and you're gonna come through, and I'm gonna have wisdom and discernment. And I'm still not going to just close my eyes and just hope you show up. Like, I'm still gonna pursue those things and pursue wisdom in those conversations. But, but my heart is really it's okay, this is what you want. This is what we do. And, and that's just a much different place for me than I was for the last two to three years in my heart. And, and so I feel like, yeah, if we step back into ministry, like I'm coming back into a place with real peace and contentment, and not the sense of striving that I prior to where I was, and also the sense that I would, it's not that's okay, too. And so whatever he has for us, it's going to be good. And I'm trusting God's goodness with those things. And I'm looking forward to it. And so I've enjoyed these last few months. Just think about a guy job right away. I don't think I would appreciate it the open hand in this book I'm doing in my life. I think everyday I have it, I'm holding on to it to remind me so So I couldn't be there longer in my life without having to come back to this spot to be reminded of those moments. And so just to be Yeah, to be grateful and appreciative of God's peace, is contentment and His grace has been really significant.
Anne Imboden 25:16
Yeah, I would say definitely, like, sort of our beliefs, my mantra, and even with the kids, especially with our daughter, who continually asked, do we know what we're doing yet? Do we know where we're moving? Are we staying? Are we going to study find his daddy found a job like, what are we doing? And she just likes to have that plan? You know, and just thing that I've found myself praying over and over and these last four months is, Lord, we want what you want. Whatever that is, I want what you want. Our family wants what you want. That means staying, if that means going, if that means going back to ministry, if it means not going back to ministry. And yeah, same as Zack, I think that I've prayed that prayer before. I don't know that I meant it until this last, you know, I genuinely mean it. And I know that that's what he's praying to and to, like you said just that open handedness of like, Okay, Lord, we we have zero control. You know, we have no idea how long this season will last. We know, we were faithful. And we knew we came here for, you know, out of an act of obedience. So we know we resigned as an act of obedience, we knew like we have complete peace about that. Still, we've been asked by lots of people, do you kind of wish you hadn't? You know, it's been four months and you haven't found a job? Do you? You kind of are you having any regrets? No, none? None? Is it stressful? Yes. Is it requiring us to trust God, you know, just for the day to day provisions in a way that we've never had to before? Absolutely. But do we regret it? Not Not even a little bit, not even a little bit? You know, he, he has needed this, like, we call it like his self imposed sabbatical? You know, he's never, he's never gotten a sabbatical before. So we just decided to take one, you know, like, it's self imposed. And, but this season of rest for him this season of family time, this season, where he is home, with us, and, you know, home every single night for dinner, and for every bedtime, and in the morning, and he's just always here. And that has been so, so good for me, for our family, for our kids, you know, time for him to physically rest but just to get outside, he's going for walks every day. It's paddleboarding. It's, you know, like reading stacks of books, he's never had the time to read through connecting with friends, you know, talk getting counsel, like getting regular counseling, all of those things. There never was margin for things like that when he was working. And so this really has, has been such a gift. And in the last four months, like he's, he's off his medication. Now, you know, he's sleeping better. He's, you know, like, I really do believe he's, he's completely restored, I don't say that he's back to normal or back to the way he was. Because the way he was was not healthy. I don't want that version for him. I want this new version that's well rested, that's joyful, that's happy, that is grounded, you know, and then has found his worth, where it should be in Christ and in our family. We've stripped him of the title, we've stripped him of the responsibility of church, you know, and ministry and serving the church, even if it's just for a season, and I think that has really like, pruned off all that unnecessary stuff and reminded him and reminded us of what's really important. So that whenever he does reenter ministry, I think it will look different. I think his boundaries will be different. I think he knows he's far more self aware. This, you know, this time around, I think he knows what, what's a trigger and, you know, what he can handle and what he can't handle. I think he knows himself, way better than he ever has. And knows what his limits are. And, and I certainly, you know, know what to look for in him now. And, you know, I've always appreciated that the he gives me full, you know, I don't wanna say power, but like, you know, he lets me speak into his life. He lets me say like, Hey, like you're overdoing it, you need to pull back. Like, I'm looking at your work calendar and you got to you got to step out or something's like that's, you're going to, you know, work yourself to death. You got to you know, and so, I think yeah, I think it's gonna look a lot different. I think it's gonna look much healthier when he does ranter. Yeah.
Denisha Workizer 29:44
You had mentioned that next time around, you would have more peace, contentment and less striving. I think that is so beautiful. There is so there's a lot of pressure on pastors. You should know everything about everything right? And that's Something that I don't going into ministry, nobody told me. I thought we're gonna get around all day. And we're going to study the Bible. But then I had to be like, in and I would study the Bible that because I was going to be teaching it. And I began to separate. For me personally, one of the struggles, I began to separate my personal walk with God, to if I was in the word, I was always thinking about how I could teach it, what that could apply to how I would use that in a sermon or, and I, I would forget in different seasons that oh, this applies to me, because I wasn't being kind to myself, either. And so yeah, I think as we as we see our pastors, I just love that you guys have just such an honesty about what it's like on the flip side, when things do get out of balance, because it's hard. You're expected to be the financial person who can give advice, the marriage person, the parenting expert, that there's a lot of different hats to wear. And it does become a lot. So I love that you said peace, contentment, and not striving. That's a beautiful way to look at reentry for whatever God has next for you guys. Yeah. What would you say? You really you struck me back when you said is my worth in God? And who I am in Him or what I produce? Yeah. And I think that there are so many so many of our listeners that can it as a mom, we can think is my worth and just being a daughter of the Most High or is my worth and being the best Pinterest mom or, you know, having the cleanest, you know, cleanest tiniest house or, you know, there are so many different things, whether it be being a pastor being in ministry, being a parent, being a wife, whatever our career looks like, that we can try to put our worth in. So what would you say to someone, Zach, who's, who's struggling with? Is my work in what I produce in what I do? Or is it in who I am with God?
Zach Imboden 32:06
Yeah. Yeah, it's something from me that I if you had asked me a year or two ago, oh, no, I totally live in that moment of like, my worth is in am and who I am, I am I wouldn't question that a year, two years ago, or five years ago, I would have believed. And I think I honestly would have believed that I would have thought my worth isn't who I am in Christ because of who I am and for his love for me. But when you take it all the way, it just looks different. And it feels different, like, oh, okay, like, I know, I believe that, but is it true? And so for what I know, and so to really recognize and go, Okay, no, this is, this is who I am. Because the reality is, everything, everything else, all of your responsibilities, all the things that we fill our calendar with, and fill our fill our calendars that are filled with are always in a demand more and take more than what we can give. And the only opportunity we have to really be in a spot to find joy to find peace, to find contentment is in Christ. Like, and so, you know, every relationship, every activity is always an ask one more thing from you. And so, but Jesus has never been asked more, because Jesus is one who gives it all to us. And we get to be the one who gets to receive it. And so to know, that I'm just loved by God. And it's out of that place of out of that place where God just loves being with me and loves to enjoy time with me. And that's where I start my day. And that's where I end my day, is a much different place and trying to help kind of keep squeezing him in places in my life. And, and so yeah, so remembering and knowing that from the start, is just a different perspective and a different way to live. Then when you try to squeeze him in and know and question, does he really love me? It says our lacing is really true. To know that, yeah, that he that he deeply loves us, no matter what we do. One thing that probably one thing I've said over the last few years. So I'm telling myself these things now, just as much as always saying that to other people. Because I know that God loves me when I'm good at anything that makes sense. Like when I make me I'm just like my kids, when my kids are good, I love them. They clean their room, they do those things. But the part that has been really helpful impactful for me is I know that God loves me the same on my worst day. And there's that sense that his love for me it really doesn't change like I know those things, but for them in our heads we often think what I do when I do wrong things when I mess up and when I sin and I don't do an animal, like God's love for me changes. It really doesn't In fact, his love for me is the same on my worst day and on my best day, and to really sit in joy, and to know that that's true. And, and to really have that deep in my heart and my soul, it's been really impactful
Denisha Workizer 35:18
when you can just feel the weight of that coming off as you say that. Yeah, that's really beautiful. So if, if we're in a church, how can we love on our pastors? What would be a word of encouragement or something we could do as the church body to support our pastors, because we know that not only has COVID been hard, but ministry is hard. How can sap what would be something that somebody could come and do for our pastor that would encourage them and just kind of give them that little kick in their step as they go about their day? What would be your advice? Yeah, there's
Zach Imboden 35:57
lots of fun things to do. I think, I think simple things just even without even to analogy, but students should be praying for your pastors. Not that God prays to change them or do things that you want them to do. But to really genuinely pray for, for their own personal experience with God, and that that they are continuing to grow, and their love with Jesus in really significant ways. Even and, you know, even though things like you know, we text people, like, Oh, I'm praying for you, or stuff like that, which is nice. But even you know, text or email or write a note to pass, you're actually like, praying for them over that text message, or that in writing your prayer out saying, This is what I prayed for you today. I think these are simple, easy ways just to, to honor them. Anything you could do to honor their personal lives, you know, like helping them, they're, they're married, have kids, watch their kids, and then go on a date night, I think just giving them space to be to be human. And those things, it's really helpful. You know, even just saying, you know, Pastor might not share, but you know, just even creating a relationship that's not based upon church stuff, but just because you love them and who they are as a human as a human. You know, they might not tell you all their stuff or other junk, but know that you care about them as a person, not based upon what they do as their and their pastoral duties, I think is a really helpful thing. As well, too. Those are the three things I think of that you could really care and love on the pasture really significant way.
Anne Imboden 37:32
Yeah, I would say I would second all of those things, I think, um, we've had some really wonderful friends and our married life that have shown up for us and offered to Yeah, watch, like I said, watch our kids for free and just say, Hey, I just want to bless you, and let me come hang out with your kids or drop them off here. And you guys go do what you need to do. Like that is such a gift. And, you know, yeah, absolutely. I mean, we've been in some wonderful community groups, where, you know, we've led them or even we've just been part of them. And what made those groups and those friendships so special was because we didn't walk in as pastor Zach and his wife, we walked in as Anzac with our kids, you know, and there was no one ever asked us about church or what's, you know, what was that sermon about? Or what, you know, what's going on with the elders? Or what's it, you know, like, no one was grilling us and asking us to divulge information just because we were in the know, you know, they really just treated us like you said, it's just normal, normal people, and they didn't expect us to, you know, share anything. You know, any information that we might have been privy to. And so yeah, just just being treated not as pastor and wife, but just as, you know, just as who we are. Without that pastor had, Zach never felt like he had that, like, he could take the pastor hat off before we walked into into community group. And that was so refreshing for him, you know. And I think just trust trust is a huge thing. I mean, there's a reason pastors don't have a lot of close friends, you know, mainly the majority the people they hang out with are part of the church body. And so it's hard to know, like, how much can you say how much can you can find in that person, because if it gets out, then then you got, you know, things that are being misinterpreted and, and gossip and all that kind of stuff. And so it's it makes sense that pastors really feel like they have to hold their cards close. So I think just, again, not not coming in and expecting a pastor to you know, be totally vulnerable and share everything, but giving him a safe space to be if he if you know, if he feels feels he can be you know, like just really keeping things confidential. When a pastor and their family you know, when you become friends with them, like don't use that don't use what you know about them against them. Don't go talking even if it's as a prayer request or don't go you know, say Oh, I'm really concerned about that. You know, Pastor Zach, he shared this and, you know, over coffee like don't do that. Just Just keep it confidential in the way you would with anybody else. So I think that yeah, that that's a big, yeah, trust is a big thing. And it's I think it's something that so many pastors don't, they don't have, you know, they don't have people they can trust, and a good mentor. That's been, you know, Zach's had some really wonderful men that have invested in him and have given him a safe space, and have offered him counsel and Godly wisdom. And, you know, he hope that that's present on the church leadership, but it's not always, especially if that pastor is the head pastor, you know, like his job. And the expectation is to pour into everybody else, and to mentor and disciple who's doing that for them. You know, so step up as an older man in the church or an older woman in the church and offered to mentor and advise and counsel or just be a prayer warrior for your pastor or his wife. That's, that's huge. And that's something that's lacking, I think, in a lot of churches. So
Denisha Workizer 41:06
hey, man, you guys grew that is so fantastic, because I think sometimes we don't know what to do. You know, we see our pastors on the platform on Sunday morning, delivering us the Word of God, I mean, their lives have to be totally perfect. So we forget that they're human, just like we are. And I just think that is beautiful advice. I remember one Sunday, a woman coming up to me after I'd given a certain she says, I'm sure you have a million friends. And I almost started crying. Because I thought no one standing in a crowded room with 1500 people. And I feel super alone right now. Like I was going through my own struggle. And, and I remember she said, You know, I know you have so many friends that if you ever want to have coffee, and it was such a genuine reach out. And I was like, I like almost jumped in her arms. Are you really safe? Because I really need to say please, right. And it was interesting here, she thought, Oh, I'll bet she's too busy. She has too many friends. And really a genuine friendship was what I was yearning for. And so I love that you guys shared that because that is really, that is such a gift. And I actually forgotten about that moment. So the and you're saying that and I thought, Oh, I remember that my Wi Fi fell real bone in a crowded room where there's a lot of people to talk to me. Yes, I need a common
Anne Imboden 42:25
misconception that pastors and their families must, must be very social and booked every night. And I mean, we are but not with like social, like just fun, non, like non church related just social activities, you know, and it is, it's assumed that we are so connected, and we have plenty of friends. But if everyone is assuming that, and so Oh, I'm not going to ask them because I'm sure they're already booked. But everyone's assuming that then no one's asking. Yeah, pastor and his wife, you know, to come over for dinner, or to come hang out for a movie night or, you know, whatever, you go mini golfing, whatever it is. And, you know, it's not that invitation is not being as extended as often as you think. And so yeah, that's, that's a really great point. Like, we love to be just invited, you know, and we'll tell you if we can't, you know, but just the invitation alone sometimes can mean so much. So.
Denisha Workizer 43:18
Thank you both. Thank you so much for sharing and just being vulnerable, giving us a little peek into what it's really like, when to be a pastor, and then also just to be a human because I think even if we're not pastors, if we're nurses or teachers or whatever, stay at home mamas. I think there's a piece of everyone who can relate to a piece of your story and that expectation feeling or that feeling like am I doing enough for God. So thank you for giving us just such an honest sneak peek and for all the wisdom on how we can go and love on our pastures. So thank you guys so much. Really appreciate you and look forward to having you back on the podcast. allotted here, backing together, so thank you. Thank you so much, Lily. Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community ever claimers? Check out our website at reclaimed story.com all of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast Be sure to subscribe rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help and helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.