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How Pastors Can Refresh Their Tired Souls

Peter Drucker, one of the world’s greatest leadership experts, once listed what he considered the four hardest jobs in the world. Here are those four: President of the United States, a university president, a CEO of a hospital and a pastor.

Wow, strong words from a wise man. Although I’ve not held the first three jobs, I have served as a pastor for over 33 years. It can be tough, and pastors must care for their souls.

Consider these eight ways to refresh your tired soul.

1. Do something totally different from ministry.

Often, pastors spend even their free time on ministry-related pursuits and thoughts. Consider doing something totally different from the ministry vein. I once took improv classes, and I found them very refreshing to my soul.

2. Be OK with taking care of you.

Pete Scazzero, most known for emotionally healthy spirituality, learned this the hard way and wrote these words.

“The degree to which you love yourself corresponds to the degree to which you love others. Caring for ourselves was difficult for us to do without feeling guilty. We unwittingly thought that dying to ourselves for the sake of the gospel meant dying to marital intimacy and joy in life. We had died to something God had never intended we die to.” (www.christianity today.com/le/1998/winter/8l1063.html)

3. Keep healthy boundaries with others.

A boundary is a line that helps define those things for which we are responsible. They define who we are and who we are not; when properly managed, they can bring us great freedom with others in our churches. I recommend Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s bestseller Boundaries for better understanding.

4. Lighten up and laugh more often (not at others’ expense, though).

Current research on how humor affects leadership has discovered that the most effective leaders use humor more often than less effective ones. (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, Primal Leadership, 34)

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