Self-care resources for busy church professionals

Nourish a healthier ministry this year –  “Many Christian leaders find that the pressures of ministry are chipping away at their own wellness, their relationship with God and their ability to live out their callings faithfully,” writes  Samuel Rahberg, a spiritual director who heads the Benedictine Center of St. Paul’s Monastery in Minnesota. Two strategies — seeking solitude with God and companionship in stewarding one’s vision — will help good intentions become realities in the new year.

Leaders, take your vacation, for your church’s sake – Ministry is a tough, tough gig. For that reason, it’s imperative to take out that calendar and block off time away, writers Stephany Dyrness Lobdell in ChristianityToday.com. Time away is a professional necessity, and she has suggestions on how make vacations a priority.

Share the ministry load – A congregational leader’s “To Do” list never gets done. This is most certainly true. It’s one of the reasons so many of us face stress, overwork and burnout. Here, from ChristianityToday, are some strategies for empowering your congregation members to take on some of the tasks. It will not only help free up your time and energy but also invigorate your church.

Manage your stress – As church leaders, we know our work is incredibly stressful. We face unrelenting demands, many of which are not reasonable, that we are expected to meet with dwindling resources. How are you coping? This article from the American Institute of Stress outlines some important ways to take care of yourself.

Stressed? An accountability partner may helpFacing multiple pressures in our changing church, many leaders face chronic stress and may be headed towards a destination called burnout. Finding a one-on-one accountability partner can help leaders stay focused, maintain a healthy work-life balance and keep ministry in perspective. Read one pastor’s experience in Faith & Leadership.

The dangers of workism —  especially for church leaders! – Workism is the new religious tradition in town. Workism proclaims that we must “do what we love and love what we do,” writes Alaina Kleinbeck in Duke Divinity School’s Faith and Leadership. As a culture, we worship work success stories, even at our peril. Our relationship to work is distorted, if not toxic. Fortunately, there are alternatives.

Science reveals many benefits of meditation – The regular practice of meditation can not only bring you closer to God and improve your faith and prayer life, it also improves overall wellness and health, scientists affirm. Lower blood pressure, greater emotional intelligence, a longer attention span and less anxiety are only some of the benefits, says healthline.

Yoga is a good Rx for stress – Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. This article from the Mayo Clinic says that yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. Moreover, it helps improve flexibility in muscles and joints and can reduce risk for many chronic ailments.

Silence as a spiritual practice – While silence may not popular in our 24/7, go-go, plugged in age, artist and writer Mirka Knaster explains how a quiet spirituality has nurtured her soul and provided healing. Check out her simple suggestions for trying a practice of silence.

My road from burnout to emotional health – A church planter’s dream — New Life Fellowship Church grew quickly and steadily. But so did the stress level of its founding pastor, Peter Scazzero. “My soul was shrinking,” Scazzero writes in ChristianityToday.com. He shares his story on ChristianityToday.com.

Ministry is hard! Practicing self-care is good for church professionals – and God’s people!

'Put your own oxygen mask on first'