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Vance Pitman: Why Stress Should Not Be a ‘Normal’ Part of a Pastor’s Life

“Too often as followers of Jesus and as leaders in ministry, we look to ourselves to solve the problems, the challenges, the difficulties, the circumstances, rather than doing what we teach, walking in dependence on the Lord and in every moment turning that situation to the Lord.”

“We can’t remove all stressors. What we can do is change the way we respond to those stressors. The Bible never promises us a problem-free, a challenge-free life. What it promises us is as believers, what distinguishes us…is the presence of God’s peace.”

“One of the great things that broke my heart is that we walk through the same stuff from politics to pandemics to cultural issues that the world did. And the problem is, the world should have been able to look at us and see a different type of response. And yet when you look at most believers’ social media feeds, we panicked and stressed out just like the rest of the world did, rather than in the midst of that, knowing that God’s in control.”

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“We’ve bought into the lie that normal life is just being stressed out to some degree. The problem with that is it’s less than the life Jesus offered us.”

“When I’m living out of stress and anxiety, I’ve chosen to live out of the resources of my flesh rather than the resources of Christ in me.”

“Stress and peace are basically two sides of the same coin.”

“You cannot be in the presence of God and not enjoy His peace. His peace as a byproduct of enjoying His presence.”

“A lot of us as ministry leaders, pastors, leaders in churches, we tend to live in isolation from other people. We teach this principle of community, but we don’t practice this principle of community. We do not allow people to see behind the curtain. We don’t live transparently in front of others. And for me, I had to be willing to allow others in as part of this shift that happened in my life.”

“There’s a distinction in my mind between peace with God and the peace of God…nothing I’m going to do today will upset my peace with God. But that’s different than enjoying practically the peace of God.”

“Are there some areas where I can enjoy this peace of God while I’m still growing in some other areas? Absolutely. But it’s about being honest about those things.”

“Another key piece to this experience in God’s peace is recognizing he’s in control, recognizing he’s sovereign. And even in the midst of the difficulty, saying, ‘God, I thank you’…even when I don’t understand the situation, I can be grateful for it.”