By Joy Allmond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pastoring is a calling that comes with many demands—pressure to please everyone in the congregation, a burden to keep church finances healthy and the feeling of having to carry the weight of church growth.
And while pastors work to meet these demands, many of their own needs—namely, emotional health—can easily fall to the wayside.
Throw a pandemic into the mix, said Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, and emotional health issues among pastors are exacerbated.
“It’s a season where people are struggling and we’re out of our rhythms and schedules,” he said. “The pandemic has pushed many pastors into an unhealthy emotional state.”
In response to the impact of COVID-19 on church leaders—and to help point a way forward—Mandrell is joining with Pete Scazzero, author of the best-selling book “The Emotionally Healthy Leader,” for a free, streamed event, “Emotionally Healthy Pastor” on Thursday, June 11, at 12 p.m. EST.
“The pandemic has put a pressure on both leaders and churches that’s unprecedented in our lifetime,” said Scazzero. “It has revealed some of the shallowness and cracks we have in our lives and churches. People have questions. They’re struggling—and legitimately so.”
Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. After serving as senior pastor for 26 years, he now leads Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, a global ministry transforming church culture through the multiplication of deeply changed leaders and disciples.
Hosted by LifeWay Leadership, “Emotionally Healthy Pastor” will be an interview-style conversation during which Mandrell and Scazzero unpack topics that affect the emotional health of pastors and address questions, including:
- What does emotional health look like in the life of a pastor?
- How can someone self-diagnose emotional health?
- How can we fight comparisons and shift our errant focus on success?
- How does discernment play a role in the emotional health of a pastor?
- How can pastors break the addiction to congregational validation?
- What is the impact of social media on the emotional health of pastors?
“We’re quick as pastors to give ourselves away,” said Mandrell, who pastored for 17 years in both an established church and a church plant.
“It’s what we’re called to do. We say ‘yes’ as much as we can, and we’re not always aware of how depleted we are. I cannot emphasize how important this conversation is right now for pastors.”
Visit leadership.lifeway.com/emotionallyhealthy to register for this free event.
Joy Allmond is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.