Max Lucado: How Pastors Can Be Anxious for Nothing

Max Lucado

Max Lucado has served the church in various capacities for over 30 years now. Max is a best-selling author and has been called “America’s pastor” by Christianity Today. Since 1988, Max has served at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. His written work includes No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Cure for the Common Life, and Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World. Max and his wife, Denalyn, have three daughters.

Key Questions:

As you were researching for your book on anxiety, what did you find were reasons people experience such great anxiety today?

Can you share some of the ways you or other church leaders you’ve known have struggled with anxiety?

How can a pastor clarify and define expectations with their elder boards?

As leaders, what are some specific practices that we can encourage people to engage in to help them with anxiety?

Key Quotes:

“Teenagers today have the same level of anxiety that a psychiatric patient had in the 1950s.”

“Helping people disentangle this [problem with anxiety] is one of the great privileges of the church.”

“We’ve never lived in an era that’s seen such rapid change. One psychologist said the last 30 years have the equivalent of the last 300 years in terms of changes in technology, in terms of transportation, in health, even in the globalization. The world has shrunk. Things happen more quickly.”

“Access to media causes us to be anxious people.”

“Fear is the emotion that you feel if you see a rattlesnake in the yard. Anxiety is the dread that every time you step in the yard you’re going to see a rattlesnake.”

“For the believer, [anxiety] is the kind of fear that excuses God from the equation.”

“Not even Jesus could lead a life that said there’s no anxiety. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is a picture of person dealing with a level of anxiety. But he didn’t let the anxiety cripple him. Nor did he let the anxiety keep him from accomplishing what God had in store for him.”

“I think ministry brings its own brand of anxiety, and learning to recognize what part of ministry triggers anxiety in a pastor is really important.”

“In those cases where you feel like you can’t get a balance, go get help for crying out loud. Go get help—hurry!”

“Most people who go into ministry have a certain level of Messiah complex. We want to save the world!”

“Your validity as a minister is never based on fruitfulness but faithfulness.”

“Understanding and trusting God’s sovereignty—I think—is the key for Christians as we deal with anxiety.”

“Anxiety and gratitude cannot share the same heart.”

“Many times anxiety comes from a focus on what’s you don’t have. It’s an assumption that things are always going to be bad.”

“Let God love you…You can never be more saved than you were the moment your were first saved. You’re not better or worse—you’re loved.”

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Jason Daye
As Director of Ministry Development for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. Jason lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his beautiful wife and six children, where he enjoys hiking with his family, fighting rainbow trout, summiting 14ers and swapping stories with good friends. Connect with him on Twitter @jasondaye