Without missing a beat, Serve & Protect continues serving public safety and medical providers as we have since 2011, but we just added a profession that might surprise you.

Our mission when I founded Serve & Protect in February 2011 was to facilitate trauma services for first responders, which included police, fire, ems, dispatch, and expanded to add corrections and forensic medical examiners. It was me, a phone and computer. 

Today we have a team of about 50 peer advocates segmented by profession in public safety and 3 well qualified trauma services facilitators who locate the ideal fit for a therapist. We serve nationwide, and because of our calling, 7,000+ have found hope and healing. In April 2020, I launched the medical division to serve doctors and nurses. Being the dad of a nurse and married to a nurse 48 years, I knew the need was quite similar. We built a peer advocate team to help those who call from the medical world. My Father-in-law was a pastor, and I trained at Columbia Bible College and Wheaton, serving as pulpit supply in several congregations. I care deeply about those who are called by God.

New! Serve & Protect’s Pastor Advocate Division

This week we launched our Pastor Advocate division to help clergy, whether pastor or chaplain, who struggle with depression or anxiety, or sadly, suicidal ideations. We are building that peer advocate team now. The motivation is that pastors, perhaps more than any other of the professions we serve, have little opportunity to talk to someone when they are struggling. They fear talking to their board or a member, and perhaps afraid to talk openly to an area pastor. Burnout is significant. Much like our other professionals, they fear shame. That leads to isolation. 

In doing the research, the data was eye-opening. The studies from Universities and organizations from Lifeway, Liberty University, and Duke reinforced the concern for emotional wellness issues for those we charge with feeding the flock. 

Moreover, today there is a new cause for their emotional struggle – upwardly mobile pastors wanting the big job, and in some cases, not adverse to subterfuge and mutiny to get it. When a senior and seasoned pastor does not respond as they desire to ideas for change in the service, content, or philosophy of ministry as may be desired, it is becoming an option for a more direct but subtle misinformation campaign to find its way to the board, and sometimes not so subtle. The usurpers want change – now!. When a pastor who has spent years nurturing their congregation is facing such issues, or when the long and sacrificial time they spend ministering to their flock takes an emotional toll, where can they turn? 

Shepherds Advocate is a confidential and independent resource. What we do for public safety and medical providers, we will do for clergy. Nationwide. We have already started building our peer advocate team. 

Go to Serve & Protect to learn more about who we are, what we do and how. We are quite unique, both in our methodology and breadth of service. We are a nonprofit, and we do not accept any remuneration from those to whom we refer – at all – nor any compensation from those we serve. Never have, never will.  For such a time as this, we serve

If you want to speak with someone now, call our Crisis Line – 615-373-8000. Robert Michaels is CEO/Founder and Lecturer with Serve & Protect. He is the host of Guns’n’Hoses: A Journey of Faith Podcast. Rob is a former Detective with Norfolk VA Police, and a graduate of Columbia Bible College and Wheaton College Graduate School. He was the 2017 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for the Memphis Division.

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