Work wellness of pentecostal pastors in the North West Province
Jansen van Vuuren, Yolandie
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Literature generally acknowledges that ministers have a demanding job with unique requirements and unclear boundaries between their personal and professional lives. Since 1980, studies have been describing an alarming spread of burnout in the ministry, with three out of four ministers reporting severe stress, causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear and alienation. South African literature indicates ministry as a high-risk occupation with regard to burnout. As providers of help, ministers are exposed to demanding work situations, with unique job and client-related stressors that show high correlation with burnout. Burnout, according to Levert (et al, 2000) is a syndrome consisting of three dimensions: these are Exhaustion, Cynicism and lack of Professional Efficacy. Exhaustion refers to the depletion and draining of emotional resources and feelings of being overextended. Cynicism reflects a negative, cynical and callous attitude towards recipients of service, andlor extreme detached responses to aspects pertaining to the job. A lack of professional efficacy refers to the tendency to evaluate aspects negatively with regard to personal accomplishments and competence at work. Burnout in the human service industry is a growing phenomenon. The objectives of this study were to determine the reliability and validity of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) in the context of ministry, The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), and the Coping Orientations to Problems experienced questionnaire (COPE), and to develop a measuring instrument to describe occupational stress of Pentecostal pastors in the North West Region of South Africa. A cross-sectional survey design was used. Availability samples (n = 100) were taken of qualified and ordained Pentecostal Pastors in the ministry. The Ministry Demands Survey was developed as measuring instrument, indicating internal demands/emotional input and relationship demands/demands with regard to calling, as reliable factors. Coping was described as being either Problem or Emotion-focused. Health of Pentecostal pastors was predicted by Internal Demands/Emotional Input, Exhaustion and Problem and Emotion-focused Coping. Recommendations for future research were made.