Resources to help pastors be more aware of their own mental health and to maintain mental wellness.
In this article from the WELS website, Alexis Adams, a professional counselor, shares a practical list of things you can do or keep in mind in order to prevent burnout as well as ways to incorporate more self-care into your everyday life in order to avoid reaching that point.
In ministry, our jobs are typically designed to help others. We are outwardly focused, pouring into others for the benefit of Christ. But what happens when the person in need of help is in our own family? What if the person struggling is actually our own self? This article from The Christian Post identifies some common barriers to church workers receiving help for their own mental health issues and ways to overcome them.
When times are tough and you’re faced with hard decisions, it’s easy to get paralyzed by self-doubt and fear. To move to clarity and action, leaders need self-compassion. Research shows that it increases your levels of emotional intelligence, resilience, integrity, and makes you more compassionate toward others, all of which improves your effectiveness as a leader. The authors offer several exercises for cultivating this skill, from short daily practices to tactics that help you shift your mindset.
Did you know that approximately 50% of pastors have struggled with depression themselves at some point? This article from The Christian Post offers practical suggestions for pastors to best care for themselves and discusses ways congregation members can encourage and support their pastors in order to prevent depression and burnout.
Run Hard. Rest Well. introduces restorative wellness to organizations and individuals through transformative seminars and half-day retreats. They help people rediscover simple and strategic commitments that reduce cortisol overload, feed the soul, and fuel joy and vibrancy through preventative care practices, crisis, and recovery.
Full Strength Network is a non-profit ministry created to strengthen Christian pastors and their families for their overall well-being. They are a growing national network of caregivers and service providers passionate about helping pastors and their families thrive in ministry life.
Equips church leaders with the necessary tools and support for a lifetime of fruitfulness even as they experience the professional and personal challenges of pastoral ministry. They are committed to nurturing the spiritual, relational, emotional, and mental well-being of church leaders and their loved ones in order to enrich the vitality of their churches and ministries.
Grace Place Wellness Ministries teaches professional church workers the attitudes, skills, and practices that enable them to experience a long, joyful, and flourishing career through in-person and virtual retreats, guest speaking appearances, and a continual flow of fresh resources that teach the basic principles of The Wellness Wheel. Grace Place helps church workers find relief from the pressures they face while avoiding the traps that lead to burnout, sin, and despair.
This free downloadable e-book from Spiritual First Aid provides insights from ministry experts on the often-unspoken struggles faced by pastors and gives helpful, practical strategies that pastors and other church workers can use to not only prevent burnout but flourish in ministry.
Do you have difficulty knowing when it’s time to take a break from your helping efforts? When needs are pressing all around you, self-care can take a backseat. However, when you skimp on rest and recovery time, you can experience compassion fatigue and even burnout. It’s important to learn to care well for yourself as you care for others, which begins with strategies for healthy coping—as well as learning the signs and symptoms of burnout. The Humanitarian Disaster Institute has created a brief research-based quiz to help you discover if you’re at risk for burnout (or you’re already there).
Helping others is a good thing, but it can lead to burnout if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves. This practical, free, downloadable e-book by Spiritual First Aid explores the various factors that can lead to burnout, the physical, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and cognitive signs of burnout, and helpful tips to prevent burnout. The content is interspersed with expert insights, helpful Scripture, words of encouragement, and comforting prayers.
This comprehensive guidebook can help caregivers of those experiencing dementia and other forms of memory loss through explanation of the symptoms of different types of dementia, the theology of dementia, what happens if dementia means a person no longer remembers their faith, and self-care tips for caregivers to prevent burnout.
This self-care tool from Church Health Reader gives clergy the opportunity to pause and assess wellness against the backdrop of their professional ministry context and reflect on ways to support a healthy life to continue answering God’s call to a healthy ministry. Church Health Reader is licensed under Creative Commons license.
This engaging resource for caregivers from The Trauma Healing Institute includes a self-assessment tool to gauge your current stress level, examines common sources of stress, and offers practical tips for how to care for yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed in your care for others. This document was created for use during the COVID-19 pandemic, but can be useful during any time of stress.
This Bible study written by The Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs, an ordained LCMS pastor and licensed psychologist, discusses the psychological ideas of "compassion fatigue" and "burnout" that often afflict church workers in light of the comfort and wisdom of Scripture. This can be used as a personal Bible study or as a pastoral staff Bible study during staff meeting.
In this Lead Time Podcast by Unite Leadership, Rev. Dick Koehneke helps identify the significant threats that church workers face in their journey - spiritual attack, burnout, temptation, and isolation. He discusses the crucial role of preventive strategies in mitigating these threats, with special focus on the importance of staying rooted in God's word and prayer and maintaining accountability with peers. The episode also looks into the distinction between guilt and shame, and how they shape a church worker's life. It also touches upon the relatively less discussed topic of secondary traumatic stress in pastoral care, underscoring the need for pastors to seek preventive care. Don't miss out on this enlightening episode, rich with wisdom and insights beneficial for anyone involved in church leadership.
Steven Cuss is the lead pastor of Discovery Christian Church just outside of Denver, Colorado. He has a heart for ministry leaders and understands the pressures they experience when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Steve has spent many years helping leaders and their teams find freedom from unhealthy patterns. He is the author of the book, Managing Leadership Anxiety, in addition to hosting a podcast of the same name.
On this edition of the Fresh Hope for Mental Health podcast, Pastor Brad Hoefs pours his heart out about his own struggles and personal journey with mental health and ministry, speaking directly to those who are ministry leaders in the Christian church and who are suffering publicly, or quietly.
Dr. Beverly Yahnke, Executive Director for Spiritual Counsel with DOXOLOGY talks about developing a plan for self-care, including what we mean by self-care, why we need a plan, how we begin developing this plan, things that are important to consider, and how we ensure we make use of this plan.
FREE COURSE: Faith-Based and Research-Based Approaches to Building Resilience. This course will help you build resilience by helping you understand your risks for compassion fatigue, recognize burnout, and use practical and proven self-care strategies for cultivating resilience.