When the Pastor Has Cancer – Episode 132

When the Pastor Has Cancer

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Featuring: Rev. Percy McCray and Wayne Shepherd

Published: October 6, 2018

Join the hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration as they discuss how the faith community is impacted when a pastor (or a spiritual leader) is diagnosed with cancer. They also suggest ways others can grow spiritually and be empowered by their example, despite present health challenges.

Show Notes:

What do you do when you learn your pastor has cancer? The reality of this question poses unique challenges to the faith community, particularly the misconceptions about spiritual leaders and mortality. “What do we do, or how do we respond or how do we react? And how do we see God when we see our spiritual leader in a situation like that? There are things that we can learn from our spiritual leader when they are dealing with their own health challenges that will empower the local body.”

Pastor Percy also entreats spiritual leaders to disclose any serious healthcare matters to their community before the information becomes subject to rumor or becomes public: “They are leaders, and I think that it is fair to disclose that challenge or that struggle. And in doing so, it is not an admittance that you are lacking faith in any way. Your congregation would probably benefit from walking with you through your battle and your journey. You’re exercising better spiritual responsibility.”

Quotes:

  • “I think it’s important for us to be able to learn from [pastors, spiritual leaders] even in the midst of difficult scenarios and understand that they can be challenged with their own set of healthcare issues.”
  • “I think there is sometimes a separation of thought by those who are not spiritual leaders, watching or witnessing those who are spiritual leaders, that when we see their humanity before us, sometimes it throws us off a little bit. And while it’s not necessarily true for everyone, I think when we see our spiritual leaders a little vulnerable or struggling or having a test or a challenge, it can disrupt how one views their faith in relationship to God.”
  • “I believe when spiritual leaders are experiencing challenges personally, the congregation or those who are watching them may be better served to hear and understand how God is working with them and through them, versus hiding and keeping that quiet and trying to protect the congregation from it.”
  • “Every pastor fundamentally will face difficult times. We need to own that. We need to come to terms with that, because they are people who live in a fallen world. And I think that this helps us from putting too much focus on our pastor being this elite high-level individual.”
  • “When we talk about sickness and disease, it is not an admission of lack of faith. It is not that our pastors are not still anointed and called by God. In fact, God may be allowing them to be an example to us that we may learn some things in the midst of those types of scenarios and situations. Don’t turn your back on your pastor. Don’t think that they’re not people of faith.”

Resources:

Click here to download this week’s resource: “Spiritual Needs of Cancer Patients