Flourishing and Well-Being: Resilence in Ministry

Written by Matt

It's not often that I come across a resource that is so good that I don’t feel it needs much explaining, and yet, here is a an excellent example of one! Flourishing in Ministry shares
the results of a survey of 52 clergy, comparing the habits of clergy with the highest mental health scores with those whose health score was much lower. In doing so, 11 major differences showed up. Here’s my brief take on them, but be sure to check out this
incredibly easy-to-read article for more details.

11 Strategies of Resilient Clergy

1. “Remember Who You Serve” *Spoiler alert* Clergy are working for God, not other
people (despite what others may think!)

2. “Discern, Discern, Discern” Keeping in touch with God so you stay on track.

3. “Prioritising Healthy Behaviours” Medical checkups, exercise...being discerning
about how much sponge cake to accept at a pastoral visit - it all adds up!

4. “Invest in Spiritual Care”
Keeping up a regular Bible reading habit, especially if it’s in creative ways (see here for ideas!)

5. “Make Time For Personal Interests” If there’s something you love and it gives you energy, can you incorporate it into your ministry? How about your fresh-water fly-fishing passion??

6. “Pick The Time That Works For You” Playing to your strengths in terms of how you
work will be more efficient and easier on you and your work schedule.

7. “Use Space Creatively”
Is the office attached to the church really the best place for
you to get work done?

8. “Communicate Clearly And Regularly”
Mainly letting people know when you are and aren’t available, and being honest about your limitations when different expectations come up.

9. “Manage Your Technology” Some great examples here of dealing with after hours calls.
I particularly liked the idea of having someone else on call when you are off-the-clock or away.

10. “Find Support From Other Clergy” For support or mentoring, who can you catch up with?

11. “Seek Out Emotional Support From Family And Friends” Being intentional and proactive seems to be the key – finding ways to be regularly encouraged and having support plans in place if a crisis arises.

It’s an excellent article, and I’d highly recommend looking through it for great tips for going the distance in ministry, and caring for yourself at the same time (read more).

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Are there any suggestions from this list that you might find helpful or recommend to others?