10 Keys to Being A Healthy Pastor

Healthy pastors lead healthy churches.  Below are keys to being a healthy pastor.  Do not skip over #1.
1. Let God restore your soul daily.
  • Psalm 23.  Matthew 11:28.
  • Worship.  Prayer.  Solitude.  Listening.  Bible reading.

Averill quote: I pray for you to know the REST of Jesus in all things.  The enemy will deceitfully persuade you that you have many things to accomplish in order to keep things running.  I am all too aware of this temptation.  Simplicity in Christ leads us to only one thing to do- let Christ do it.

2.  Give your marriage priority attention.

  • A bad marriage ruins the rest of life.  (Remember the Proverbs.)
  • A good marriage fortifies you for the rest of life.
  • Is your home a tunnel of chaos or an oasis of rest?

3.  Work with your personal rhythms.

  • For me:  start early, try and leave early.
  • Creative work in the mornings.
  • Between 4-7 p.m.:  not my best time for mental focus.

4.  Keep your Sabbath rest.

  • A principle of creation:  rest one day in seven.
  • Sabbath is a day to pray and play.
  • Eugene Peterson:  hike all day.

5.  Do the things only you can do – and delegate the rest.

  • Be ruthless in simplifying your work.
  • Empower others!
  • Take some time now to save much time later.

6.  Focus on results not time at work.

  • 40-50 hours a week, total for me.
  • However, the point is not to clock your time but to get things done.
  • Focus on your highest impact activities.
  • Managers do things right.  Leaders do the right things.

7.  Get regular exercise and eat healthy.

  • For me:  weight lift and cardio 4-5 times per week
  • If you are healthier and fit, you can work harder and you will last longer.
  • Exercise is a huge stress reliever.
  • Avoid The Three White Killers: salt, sugar and flour.

8. Ask for help.

  • Secrets are dangerous.
  • Need help? In the last 18 months, has a trusted person told you, “I think you need to talk to somebody about that.”  If the answer is yes, get help.
  • Every prominent Christian leader and pastor I know, regularly visits a counselor.  It is okay to ask for help.

9.  Let God heal your anger.

  • Ask God to show you … heal you.
  • Ask a close friend if you seem angry.
  • Consider:  Elder prayer, counseling, talking with an insightful friend.
  • This is enormously important!

10. Don’t be crushed by criticism.

  • Consider the source.
  • Be willing to receive criticism from trustworthy people – people who are for you, who are insightful, who are not negative.
  • Consider if you are a pleaser.  Galatians 1:10

*Excerpts from mentor program with Jeff Wells.

  • http://www.DashHouse.com/ Darryl

    Great list. Is there a number 8?

    • Tim

      Darryl –

      Thanks for commenting. Number 8 has been added. In fact, it is probably one of the most important keys in being a health pastor/person. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Thinking-Christians-and-Film-Illuminated/193431637367966?ref=ts John

    Tim – This is really great advice, thanks for your work and reminding us of priorities. Just wanted to let you know number 8 is missing.

    • Tim

      John -

      Thank you for the kind words. Number 8 is added to list.

  • http://www.fbcnorthchili.org Joel Harriman

    Is there a number 8?

    • Tim

      Joel -

      Thanks for stopping by. It has been added.

  • http://www.mattrob.com Matt Robison

    I got really confused for a split second when I read #5 right after #4.

    First keep you Sabbath rest. Then you need to delegate your rest. Delegate your rest? How do you do that.

    Then I had a good laugh at myself when I realized what you were really saying. That’s how slow my mind is on Saturday morning.

    Good thoughts.

    • Tim

      No problem at all Matt. I know what it means to have a “slow mind” on Saturday’s. In fact, I know what that feels like every morning!

  • Kin

    Where is #8?

    • Tim

      Kin –

      Thanks for stopping by the blog. It has been added. Thanks.

  • http://www.thevoyages.blogspot.com Tim B

    What happened to #8?

  • ross

    I got here from Tim Challies blog… somebody is paying attention… I will encourage my pastor with more than one of these this week… thank you

    • Tim

      Ross -

      Thank you very much for the comments.

  • Nancy Frady

    Our son is a pastor and I see how he is going back and forth seeing to the duties of hospital visits, funerals, and other pastoral duties, then spending much time in the Word. It was his post on Facebook that brought me to your article. You are correct in that Pastors need to follow certain criteria as they go about their day, as every Christian should. We get caught up in the world’s agenda and forget that in order to do the work God has given, we must take things slowly enough to do them correctly. Great article. Keep up the good work and God bless you.

    • Tim

      Nancy -

      I am glad the article was helpful for your son. I know my mother was always encouraged when others encouraged me as a pastor.

      Blessings on you and your son.

  • David Roseberry

    Very, very helpful. I’m printing this out for my desk. Tweeting to staff and colleagues. Thanks.

    • Tim

      David -

      That is great. I know they will be encouraged.

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  • http://growahealthychurch.com John Finkelde

    Stellar advice

    I think its a Rick Warren quote but I like this on the sabbath principle … divert daily, withdraw weekly, abandon annually

    Currently in Australia I am on annual holidays so that’s my annual abandonment of regular rhythms with a life on the beach, at the gym, watching movies, moving slow!

    • Tim

      John -

      Great comment. I like the quote. Thanks.

  • http://danblackonleadership.info Dan Black

    Having a balanced in all areas of your life is so essential when it comes to leading well. I have found the importance of taking time for family time. So important if your a church leader. Great list.

  • http://www.brockdev.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=User:larryestons Londa Kumpf

    I absolutely love the template on this website. Could you let me know where you can get it? Thanks!

    • http://www.timpeters.org Tim

      You can find template at standardtheme.com. Thanks.

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