8-Point Checklist for Pastoral Body Care

body careStatistics tell us that pastors don’t take great care of their bodies. However, if we are to remain effective for the long-haul, we must pay careful attention to taking good care of our bodies.

Answer these 8 questions and determine how well you are caring for your body.

  1. Am I keeping my body weight at a reasonable level? Calculate your body mass index here.
  2. Do I regularly exercise (3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes)?
  3. Would others say I manage my stress well?
  4. Do I do some fun things outside of ministry?
  5. Shadow Beliefs in a Leader: Clues to Yours

    Kevin Cashman wrote an outstanding book on leadership called Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life. In his book he writes about conscious beliefs and shadow beliefs. He defines a shadow belief as a belief we hold deep inside, outside of our conscious awareness. He provides insight about how to discover those beliefs.

    Businessman superhero concept

    He contends that these beliefs often hinder leaders from being their best. For example, one shadow belief might be that subtle voice inside that constantly says, “You must perform better than everybody else for people to like you.” For me, one shadow belief I discovered was this: “Everybody around me needs to be happy for me to be happy. Therefore, I must try to make everybody happy.” That belief stifled my joy and peace as I tried to lead our church.

    Cashman says, however, that we must bring those shadow beliefs into the light so that we can become our best as leaders. He gives seven clues that can bring these shadow beliefs to light.

    • If other people often give us feedback inconsistent with how we see ourselves, a shadow is present.
    • When we feel stuck or blocked with a real loss as to what to do next, a shadow is holding us back.
    • As strengths become counterproductive, some hidden dynamics need to surface.
    • When are are not open to new information, new learning, or other people’s views, a shadow is limiting us.
    • If we react to circumstances with emotional responses disproportionate to the situation, we are right over the target of a shadow belief.
    • When we find ourselves forcefully reacting to the limitations of others in a critical, judgemental way, we are often projecting our shadow onto others.
    • If we often experience pain, trauma, or discomfort in our body, a shadow belief may be attempting to rise to the surface to seek reconciliation.

    As I’ve faced my shadow beliefs, I’ve experienced greater peace in my life and become a more productive leader.

    How about you? Are any shadow beliefs dogging your leadership?

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    Pastoral Leadership Insights from Peter Drucker

    Peter Drucker, often called the father of modern management, was also a committed Christian. I’ve read several of his books on leadership that have helped me become a better leader and pastor.

    Jim Collins recently spoke at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit. At that conference he told us that after Drucker died, he spoke at an event in his honor and had the opportunity to step into his office. On one bookshelf someone had arranged his 35 books in the order in which he wrote them. Jim remarked that when he put his finger on the book he wrote at age 65, 2/3’s of the books were still to the right, written after he turned 65. Old age never slowed him down. Rather, his age seemed to spur him to even greater productivity.

    These four statements Drucker made about great leaders have never left me.

    1. Great leaders had followers
    2. Great leaders got results–they did the right things and didn’t worry about popularity
    3. Great leaders knew that leadership was responsibility, not rank, privileges or titles
    4. Great leaders set good examples

    Church leaders would do well to heed his wise words.

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    5 Reasons Churches should Often Celebrate Successes

    Recently our church celebrated our 25th year anniversary. I’ve been privileged to serve as the lead pastor for six years.

    Here’s how we celebrated.

    Our creative arts team created a fantastic experience that told the story of the last 25 years in all three of our services that weekend. It included several video testimonies, several ‘best of’ dramas, and some of the church’s favorite solos through the years. I spoke for less that five minutes. I made the change ‘on the fly’ to can my 15 minute prepared message (a first for me) because I felt it would intrude into the moment. We finished the service with some incredible worship, some of the best since I’ve been here. We also held a picnic on Sunday afternoon that provided lots of fellowship time for former members to mingle with their friends still at the church.

    I reflected on this experience and believe these five reasons justify regular celebrations, whether to celebrate major milestones such as a 25th year anniversary, or to celebrate small wins.

    1. Scripture often tells us to remember God’s blessings. Celebration helps us do that (Ps 77.11)
    2. Celebration helps people feel like they are part of a movement that is truly ‘winning’.
    3. Celebration helps mitigate the message that our ‘success’ culture often breeds that we don’t measure up.
    4. Celebration builds confidence in leadership that they are leading the church in the right direction.
    5. Celebration taps that ‘made in God’s image’ part of us. God created us to worship and when we celebrate His goodness, we feel most fully alive.

    So, our 25th year anniversary reminded me that as a pastor, I must lead our church to often celebrate our wins, even the small ones.

    How do you regularly celebrate your church’s wins?

    For more Ministry Tips and Resources for Pastors, visit Pastor Stone’s main site.