Brian Croft offers these three things that you really shouldn’t neglect as a pastor… but if you’re like most, you probably are more than you should:
1) Lack of sleep. As wise and discerning as many pastors are, it is amazing the amount of us who think we can function at a high level getting 1-2 hours of sleep less each night than we really need. There can be a sinful pride at work as we share “4-5 hours of sleep and I’m good.” All the while, we are grumpy by 6 pm, we are getting sick on a regular basis, and regularly give our families the leftovers in the evenings. Be honest about how much sleep you really need, then do what you must to get your rest. I need 8 hours a night. There, I’ll own it. How about you?
2) Lack of exercise. This becomes a most noticeable area of neglect when pastors gain a bunch of unnecessary weight. Yet, regular exercise is not solely for weight management. Exercise is one of the best natural relievers of stress that exists. It raises your energy level and is essential for your overall health. It is amazing how crummy anyone will feel (I know I would) if they ate whatever they desired and rarely exercised. Because of the level of stress in the typical pastor’s life, this becomes that much more of an essential aspect of the pastor’s life and harmful when neglected.
3) Lack of spiritual attention to his own’s soul. Pastors spend so much time having to study for that next sermon, or Bible study. There is that devotion you must write for the church newsletter, or an article for some journal. So much of our study and reading time is spent on the tasks of our calling. Obviously, sermon preparation and thinking through a theological implication for this counseling situation is spiritually fruitful and feeds our souls with the word.
Well… how are you doing?