Managing Stress Monday: Practicing Positive Self-Talk

The below excerpt is from my book The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Managing the Stress of Ministry.

If you are one of the many Christians — even Christian leaders — who find themselves plagued by negative self-talk, you are in good company. This is a malady that plagues many of us. The key is to not be content or satisfied with where we are, or with that negative voice that keeps talking to us. Instead, we need to reprogram that voice. We need to teach ourselves to think and speak in positive, reaffirming, faith-building, stress-reducing ways. It takes work, but it is possible and we will be glad we made the effort.

A word of caution as you begin to re-record the messages you tell yourself: this will not always be easy. If you have been in negative self-talk mode for your entire life, you won’t change overnight. Those voices have been in your head for a long time, and they feel like they are at home. It will take concerted effort, time, and repeated struggle to evict those voices from your head. But the truth is, they don’t belong in your head anyway. They need to be gone!

The problem isn’t so much that those voices feel like they are at home, telling you negative things that aren’t true about yourself. The real problem is that we start to believe these voices, and we think they have a legitimate home in our thoughts and attitudes. We get too comfortable with this negative recording. After all, we have been hearing it our whole lives, in many cases. It must be true.

Except that it isn’t true at all. Those negative voices may be comfortable for us. They may feel normal to us. But in reality, they are just lies that the devil tells believers to keep them from reaching the place where God wants them to be. As Renegade Pastors, we need to recognize these tools of Satan, root them out, and learn to live in the light of God’s positive thoughts about us.

God’s Truth Is Positive 

Learning positive self-talk is not about believing something that just isn’t true. It isn’t about buying into some self-help mumbo jumbo that you might hear from a TV talk show. Instead, positive self-talk that Renegade Pastors use is grounded in the very real words and promises of God. We believe that God is extremely positive about His children, and we should share God’s thinking on this.

That’s an important distinction, because none of us will listen for very long to words that we know aren’t true. We may want to believe something, but if it doesn’t fit in with truth as defined by God, we will eventually leave it behind, realizing that it’s just wishful thinking. After all, we would never encourage our congregations to listen to something that wasn’t true. That’s why we are advocating for a type of self-talk that is true, as well as being uplifting and positive.

– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman

The above excerpt is from p. 63-64 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Managing the Stress of Ministry.

Pastors Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman share their secrets to effective stress management with practical steps and insights that you can start implementing immediately! God wants you to be a fruitful, faithful minister of the gospel. He wants you, as a Renegade Pastor, to rise above average as you pursue God’s best for you, your family, and your ministry.

P.S. – Click here to grab your copy from Amazon today!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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