A Pastors Mental Health
A pastor may be deeply committed, extraordinarily faithful, highly educated and extremely hard working, but for a pastor to be effective and durable, a pastor must practice healthy self-care.
Self-care includes developing and maintaining good physical, spiritual and mental health practices.
These three areas of wellness are intertwined and inseparable. Yet, in my own life and in the experience of many of my colleagues, I recognize that more attention has been given to physical and spiritual health. Mental health is often neglected, causing all three to diminish. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being.
Every human being experiences highs and lows in mental health. Although some forms of mental illness are genetic, other expressions of mental illness may be related to circumstances or body chemistry and may be pre-emptively avoided or proactively addressed by practicing good mental hygiene. A common but misconception is that pastors, or persons with strong religious faith, are exempt from mental distress.
The Apostle Paul is noted for his courageous ministry but he confessed, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).
In his book, “Surviving the Stained-Glass Jungle,” veteran pastor Bill Self writes, “Self-care is not destructive self-indulgence, but rather it is being a steward of some rather special gifts – the human body and soul, along with the capacity to bring joy to others as well as to experience it.”
Those in every vocation experience varying levels of stress, distress and duress.
However, because the pastoral task requires remarkable investment in the lives of others, a pastor who neglects mental hygiene can gradually slip into a state of melancholy or emotional chaos and then compound the dilemma by ignoring the symptoms for fear of stigmatizing his or her ministry.
Lift up your pastors and leaders in prayer that God will cover them and give them wisdom. Especially during this period of time we are in. Many are facing the lack of direction or encouragement needed to endure and lead during a pandemic and crisis.
More to come from CTN on this topic - www.ctnglobal.org
10/30/2022 04:31:49 pm
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