Overly Stressed? The 4 Reactions to Watch For

I don’t need to tell you that being a pastor is a demanding occupation.

We need to keep in mind that our stress levels can rise every minute of the day. If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves continually building pressure until we are ready to explode. The reason this happens is that we don’t let stresses go. We hold onto them until we can’t hold anymore. When the stress gets to be too much to bear, we tend to see it by how we react in other taxing situations. Do you see yourself in any of the following reactions to stress?

When our stress level gets too high, we often find ourselves not able to invest emotionally in our environment. Click To Tweet
  • You shut down emotionally. When our stress level gets too high, we often find ourselves not able to invest emotionally in our environment. After all, we can stretch ourselves only to a certain point. If we are still fighting previous battles or ruminating on previous encounters, we won’t have emotions left to engage the current circumstances.
  • You disengage from people. When we are overly stressed, we tend to shy away from those things that stress us out. And that includes people. The problem is, we are in the people business. We can’t do our job effectively if we are avoiding people. And we also can’t do our job effectively if we are constantly angry or frustrated. Stress causes us to be less effective leaders and ministers.
  • You get overly angry about relatively minor events. When our stress level is high, we lose the ability to respond appropriately to frustrating issues. While most of us will never explode into violence or yell at co-workers or other ministers, we can respond with a level of anger that isn’t warranted. And that means we can make circumstances worse instead of better. We also run the risk of hurting people by being overly angry.
  • You become physically fatigued. Stress is not only emotionally and mentally taxing, it can cause us to become physically exhausted. If we don’t do things to release our stress during the day, we will be overwhelmed. And that will affect us physically. We won’t just be more tired. We will also likely be overweight and have all the health effects that come with it. Decompressing isn’t just a good idea — it’s a necessity!
Decompressing isn’t just a good idea — it’s a necessity! Click To Tweet

Many of us haven’t really thought about the effects of stress on our minds and bodies. And most pastors have never thought about how we can minimize the effects of stress. It’s worth it to take the time and learn new habits of dealing with stress. Stay with it, even if it feels like you are going slowly at first. You will continue to reap the benefits of doing these things.

– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman

The above excerpt is from p. 98-100 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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