Overcoming Anxiety as a Church Planter | ChurchPlanting.com

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Church Health, Church Leadership, Pastoral Burnout

As a church planter, you know all too well the feeling of anxiety when it comes to starting a new church. You’ve invested countless hours into researching, planning, and praying for your church, yet the feelings of worry can still creep in. But please know this —you’re not alone! Many church planters struggle with anxiety, but there are ways to overcome it.


Where Does Anxiety Come From?


Most often, anxiety stems from fear of the unknown. Uncertainty about the future and potential failure can be paralyzing for some people.

Additionally, many church planters feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks needed to start a thriving church. This can add extra stress and pressure to an already overwhelming situation.

Another root of your anxiety might be based on expectations. This could be expectations you place on yourself or expectations from an outside source such as a denomination, your sending church, or donors – those who donated to your church plant.


Concerning expectations you placed on yourself:


Give yourself a break! Let reality sink in.
1) Church Planting is tough.
2) The average size church is less than 70 people (in the USA)
3) Most likely, you won’t have a mega-church in the first 10 years… and statistics say most church planters never will.

Now ask yourself the question: Am I ok with this? Is my calling based on these conditions and goals being met? If you are after this type of “success,” it is time to examine your heart’s motive.


How Can Church Planters Overcome Anxiety?


The first step is recognizing that feeling anxious when starting something new is normal. Once you acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to handle them without judgment or criticism, you can move forward with more clarity and confidence.

Building a supportive network of family and friends who understand your mission is essential for managing anxiety. A trusted confidant can make an immense difference in working through difficult moments or decisions related to your church plant.


Remember that prayer is powerful!


God knows our deepest fears and concerns better than anyone else; He created us, after all! So take time each day to connect with Him through prayer; this could look like journaling or simply talking aloud about what’s on your heart.


Don’t forget to take care of yourself physically.


Regular exercise and proper nutrition are critical components of self-care that will help keep anxiety at bay!


Closing Thoughts:


Planting a church is no small feat—it requires hard work, dedication, and faith! But even if you have all these qualities in abundance, there may still be times when you experience feelings of anxiety associated with this significant undertaking. Thankfully, there are steps we can take as individuals and as members of communities of faith to help manage these anxious moments so they don’t get the best of us.

By finding support amongst family and friends, engaging in regular self-care practices such as exercise or proper nutrition, and most importantly, connecting with God through prayer daily – we can arm ourselves against doubt and fear during those moments when they seem most overwhelming!


Read More Blog Posts by Jeff Hoglen

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