Managing Stress in Ministry

Jul 4, 2022    Pastor Jackson Garrell

Stress cannot be your default setting. I want you to be able to show up for families, advocate for the hurting, write messages without writer's block, and bring peace to the hurting. These things are nearly impossible when you don’t have peace in your own heart. How do we share something we don’t have ourselves|


Let’s get some advice from the apostle Paul. As Paul lays out the pathway to peace for his friends in Phillipi, he encourages them to break negative thought patterns. He encourages them to replace negative thoughts with positive virtues. “Whatever is true, noble, pure, right, admirable and lovely — think on these things,” Paul elaborates. This passage offers a replacement for mental torment. We stop stressful thoughts by focusing on virtues. We can’t just reject them; we must redirect them.


Let's study the virtues listed by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4 to learn how we can develop healthy thought lives.


Discussion Guide: Ice breaker: Introduce yourself and share the most ridiculous thing you ever “stressed out” over.

Q1: Of the 4 virtues that Paul gives us to think about (True, Noble, Right & Pure, Admirable & Lovely), which do you have the hardest time focusing on?

Q2: What is currently stressing you out in your ministry, families, and relationships| What thoughts have you been focused on surrounding those stressors?

Q3: Did one of the practical steps for handling stress stand out to you (Scripture meditation, getting out of your head, considering professional help), or do you have a different way of handling stress that works best for you?

Application: Take this week to pray and ask God what is at the root of your stress snowball. Then, take intentional time every day to meditate on the 4 virtues from Paul instead of on that problem.


Next Step: Set up a call with a pastor on our Pastoral Support Team to discuss this message on stress and have a sounding board for problem-solving.


The Pastor Circle is a virtual small group for ministry leaders to gather for monthly Bible studies followed by round table discussions in Zoom. We meet on the first Monday of every month from 12:30-1:05pm EST. You can sign up for the Pastor Circle by clicking the "Sign Up" button on this page.