Healthy Clergy

Something else that has been on my mind this last year, especially going into 2013, has been my health emotionally, spiritually, and physically as a husband, father, and pastor. Clergy health is an old topic that seems to be drawing some attention of recent. Again, going with the theme of honesty in my writing, I must confess something…

If you know me at all, I love food. I love coffee. I love anything that resembles a pastry or that I can hear sizzle. You name it. I love it. The reality is that my ability to eat anything I want left me when I was around 30 years old. When I was a youth pastor, I could eat anything I wanted to. I was able to keep the weight off. Not anymore.

I want to be healthy. I need to be healthy. Not just for those I serve, but for my wife and kids. I keep hearing of pastors that struggle with issues related to their health emotionally  physically, as well as spiritually and leaving the ministry. Honestly? It scares the beejesus out of me. It means that at some point I need to admit that I can’t save the world and that its okay for me not to join in on the bacon fest around a table full of awesome and amazing people. I need to get this part of my life in check. It also means that at some point I need to just say NO which is difficult for those of who us who pastor. We hate saying no. We like to please people. This is who we are.

I want to be and need to be a leader of leaders when it comes to setting boundaries in my life as a Christ follower, a husband, father, and a pastor. I’m still technically young although I see the #50 edging slowly toward me. I don’t want to be another statistic. For my wife, my kids, and for the sake of those the Lord has called me to walk alongside with in this season, in the work of loving others as Jesus loved.

Thankfully, I know I’m not alone when it comes to this. Clergy healthy should have been a required course back when I was in seminary or even that was required prior to ordination. Come on pastors!!! It’s time to get healthy!!!  And for those of you who have awesome pastors who are indeed Christ followers, who care deeply about you and your church and care about the proclamation of  things GOOD NEWS to those who are in need of good news in their lives right now? It’s time for you to encourage your pastor as well. They need to know you care about their health as well as their families. They deserve it. No matter what is going on or happening in the life of your church.

Getting healthy is not a new years resolution for me.

It’s a reality if I’m going to be who God has called me to be.

Peace.

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