Three Questions For Pastors/Church Leaders – Part Two

#2 – How’s Your Physical Health—REALLY?

A lot of pastors are fat—period.

Which is sad because a pastor that refuses to address his weight is hypocritical in that he will often tell people to have “self control” when it comes to sex before marriage…or have “self control” when it comes to smoking…but he cannot seem to practice “self control” in a buffet line.

(In Baptist world, the one I am most familiar with, many of the pastors have a problem with people drinking alcohol…but they would NEVER speak against someone eating too many biscuits. They often say, “my lips have never touched alcohol” when it is very obvious that their feet have never touched a pair of running shoes either! Statistics prove that WAY MORE PEOPLE die every year due to obesity than alcohol…yet the SBC remains silent on the subject…probably because it would force many of them to stop pointing their fingers at others and actually deal with who they see in the mirror! Rant over!)
Here’s the deal…I used to weigh over 300 pounds…I wore a size 50 in the waist. I was fat…huge…enormous…you get the point. AND…no matter how hard I prayed the fat would not go away…and then one day I realized my weight was a spiritual issue and I HAD to do something about it…so I did the following…

  • I began to exercise…every single day. I quickly understood that buying a gym membership didn’t mean that I would lose weight…I actually needed to go there and USE the machines instead of “enjoying fellowship.” In fact, I usually will not speak in the gym unless I am finished…I am there to work out, not work my mouth!
  • I cut out ALL soft drinks and sweet tea…which KILLED ME…but I did a little research and finally understood that those things alone were responsible for HUNDREDS of extra calories a day that I did not need.
  • I quit ALL snacking after 6:00 at night.
  • I began eating healthier. Yes, I know I tweet a lot about food and dessert…because…I LOVE food and dessert. BUT…I have learned that if I “eat clean” most of the time then I can eat whatever I want some of the time. SO…I eat a lot of salads and veggies…and I cut way back on the carbs. (Notice I did not say I cut them out completely!)
  • I took responsibility for the way I looked…I didn’t blame it on being busy or any other external circumstance.

NOW…if you are overweight/obese then I would say see a doctor before trying ANY of the things I listed above. AND…I would also say that the journey to losing weight is a long and often times frustrating one.

However, our bodies ARE a temple…and some of us have too much temple and need to downsize.

If you think I am being tough on this one it is because I am. I know how hard it is to take control back of this area…I know how if feels to struggle with this…and I know what it is like to overcome.

So…pastor…how’s your physical health? You’ve GOT to deal with this…you can’t preach self control and model a lifestyle that is out of control.  

by Perry Noble
Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, Greenville and Florence, South Carolina. At just nine years old, the church averages over 10,000 people during weekend services and is launching another campus in Columbia, South Carolina. Perry is convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible. A prolific blogger, he’s also the author of Blueprints: How to Build Godly Relationships.
Used with permission from Perry Noble.
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