Elijah’s Tree – A Helping Ministry for Discouraged and Depressed Ministers of the Gospel

Sometimes discouraged, hurting people in ministry feel like they have no one to talk to and are unsure of whom they can trust. As a veteran ministry couple, Carey and Rynette are called to bless pastors and their wives, missionaries, and chaplains with a safe, caring, relational environment in which to offload their burdens and share their discouragement and pain. The Olsons founded Elijah’s Tree in August, 2017, after serving in pastoral ministry over 35 years. The combination of their gifts, experience, and understanding of the rigors and challenges of ministry suit them well for this ministry.

Where did the name Elijah’s Tree come from?

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets” (of Baal) “with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.’ Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree.” 1 Kings 19:1-4a

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life! He had never run away before. Empowered by the Lord God he had confronted King Ahab, raised a widow’s son from the dead, faced down the prophets of Baal and Asherah against 850 to 1 odds, and prayed down rain after a long drought! What a terrific ministry! But now he was fearful, discouraged, exhausted and feeling all alone. So he ran and sought refuge under a broom tree and poured out his heart to God, asking that he might die and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:4) And then he lay down and went to sleep. This prophet and faithful servant of God was burned out, depressed, and at the end of his rope. And there under that broom tree, Elijah found much-needed rest. Elijah’s experience and God’s provision of help recorded in 1 Kings inspired the name for this ministry. We want our ministry to be a place of rest, restoration, and renewal for the Lord’s servants.

Elijah’s Tree Ministries include:

  • In person meetings for those within reasonable driving distance
  • Meetings via a video call
  • In some situations, Carey and Rynette may travel to bring Elijah’s Tree to those desiring their ministry.
  • When pastors, missionaries or chaplains are aware of peers in their area who would like to receive Elijah’s Tree’s ministry, Carey and Rynette may travel to them and minister to several individuals or couples, perhaps over the span of a week or two.
  • Retreats with Carey and Rynette for “intensive care” near their home in Freeport, FL. Those coming for these retreats will bear expenses for their travel, housing, and most meals.
  • Carey is available to provide pulpit supply in local churches, confer with church leaders, and speak at conferences, seminars, retreats, pastors’ fellowships, and denominational gatherings.

Purpose of Elijah’s Tree

Elijah’s Tree exists to provide God-centered, Christ-magnifying, Scripture-saturated, confidential, and accessible shepherding and spiritual refreshment for discouraged, burned out, wounded and hurting pastors, pastoral couples, chaplains, and missionaries.

Vision of Elijah’s Tree

Elijah’s Tree’s vision is to provide confidential, personal shepherding through listening, saturation in God’s Word, extended times of prayer, and fellowship, trusting the Lord to bring refreshment, encouragement, healing and renewed joy in Him. Our emphases will be on themes such as these:

  • God’s glory and His character, attributes and promises (Psalm 29:1; Psalm 96; Isaiah 48:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
  • Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd  (John 10:11; Isaiah 61:1)
  • Prayer and intercession (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:13-18)
  • Equipment and reinforcement for spiritual battling (Ephesians 6:10-20)
  • Delight in God (Psalm 37:4)

What does this cost?

There are no fees associated with Elijah’s Tree’s ministry services. However, donations are welcome and greatly appreciated.

Do you, or others you know, need this care?

If you are in the ministry and need this kind of care, or you know a pastor, chaplain, or missionary who is on the brink of leaving the ministry for good, please visit Elijah’s Tree for more information. Elijah’s Tree is located in Freeport, FL, near the beautiful beach communities of Destin and Santa Rosa Beach in northwest Florida.

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