Self Care for the Tired Pastor

by | Nov 19, 2020 | Featured, Pastoral Burnout

“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” – Sean Covey.

Here is another quote by John Maxwell – “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Today more than ever, pastors and ministry leaders must practice self-care.

I have heard some people call this soul-care. Either way – It’s about taking care of yourself, realizing that ministry is more of a marathon rather than a sprint. I believe that if you change some things within your daily and weekly routine, you can extend the active years of your life and give your ministry the “extra” it needs to become extraordinary.

First Things First

Seven hours of sleep per day is what we need to be healthy and function at top levels. The workaholics have already tuned me out. I get it. I am a recovering workaholic. I am 53 years old and I wish I developed this habit much earlier in life.

Make it a habit to get 7 good hours of rest each night. Go to be earlier or allow yourself to sleep in. Whatever adjustments you need to make, do it! You can thank me later as you see your energy level rise and your overall mood change for the positive.

I typically wakeup prior to my alarm going off. Why? I can do this because I have developed a habit of getting the needed rest and it has become a habit – a part of my daily routine.

Tips for the Long-haul

As ministers, we typically go from one situation to the next. Some pastors would say they feel more like firemen than ministers since they are constantly putting out one fire and then another.

I recommend that you do a couple of things:

1) Develop leaders and then delegate responsibilities

According to Ephesians 4, we are to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Don’t try and carry it all on your own. You were never meant to do this. Instead, develop a leadership pipeline in which you are constantly looking for leaders and potential leaders.

If you don’t do this let me tell you what will happen: YOU WILL BURNOUT!! And burnout is never pretty! Sidenote: Burnout impacts more than yourself. Your family and church family will be directly affected, so don’t take this advice lightly.

Remember the Wins!

Remember David (from the Bible…not your friend from work David) rehearsed his wins over the lion and the bear prior to battling Goliath? Well, I think we need to do the same.

Record all the “wins” both big and small. One of the members has an answer to prayer? Write it down! Someone get’s baptized? Write it down! Make a note of ministry wins as well as personal ones.

When life gets tough, and you know it will – take a look at that journal. Read about the goodness of God. Read about all He has done for you and others. Rest in the fact that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If He came through in the past, He is more than able to do it again.

God bless you!

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