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Pastor's Health

Eight Characteristics of Emotionally Healthy Pastors

file000556357776 One of the key factors to life of a Pastor or anyone is emotional health.  Vanderbloemen Search Group, an organization that helps church assess potential pastoral candidates says that emotional health is the key factor to a pastor’s success.  Their factors are great for assessing pastors and to assist anyone else in considering their own emotional health.

The eight factors are:

1)    Comparison – Does the pastor or person continually compare themselves to others?  The opposite of comparison is being content in the person that God made you to be and living with confidence as that person.

2)    Victim Mentality – Does the pastor or person blame everyone else for their life and how it has turned out?  This type of person hangs out with and enjoys a good pity party.

3)    Forgiveness Multiplied – Does this pastor/person discuss forgiveness?  People that are healthy are not burdened with a lot of grudges.  Simply put, they practice forgiveness.

4)    Spotlight Mentality – Does this pastor/person need to be the center of attention? A person must be willing to share credit with others,   they are not constantly craving affirmation.

5)    Saying No – Is this pastor/person over committed and looking for the super-hero cape to pull it all off?  If a pastor or person cannot say no, they are too focused on pleasing others and not on staying emotionally healthy.

6)    Drama Meter – Is this person gauging high on the drama meter?  A pastor that is emotionally healthy does not have quick reactions to change or get worked up over things they cannot control.  For more on biblical peace the opposite of drama see Philippians 4:7.

7)    Give Back – Does this person give back and give his or her all?  Thom Rainer said, “Emotionally unhealthy people hoard their time, talents, and even love. Emotionally healthy people have a spirit of servanthood and give of themselves. Emotionally unhealthy people are afraid to try hard because they might fail. Emotionally healthy people give their all regardless of what they might get in return or what the outcome might be.”

8)    Choosing Joy – Does this pastor understand that joy is a choice?  Emotionally healthy people understand that they have control of their attitude and how they respond to all situations.

When considering the Eight Factors, we should also consider the fruit of Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23 identifies the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

It is important to note, that no one is perfect.  As a pastor and/or church leader, we must remember that we need a Savior.  So, whether you are reading this article as a pastor or as an individual, how emotionally healthy are you?  Which one of the above would you work on and what would be your first steps?  I look forward to hearing from you in your journey to stronger emotional health.


Check out other articles in the Pastor’s Series: Top Ten Causes of Depression in Pastors,7 Ways I Supported My Pastor and A Pastor’s Call to Rest.

Suggested resource: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado.

The above post was based on a blog article by Thom Rainer, Eight Ways to Spot Emotionally Healthy Pastors and Staff.



3 thoughts on “Eight Characteristics of Emotionally Healthy Pastors

  1. Great. Practical. Christian. Biblical.

    Posted by Lance Lovlin | May 28, 2014, 8:54 am


  1. Pingback: A Pastor’s Call To Rest | Andrew - May 7, 2014

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Discouragements for Local Pastors and Staff | Andrew - November 13, 2014

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