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Sanity in Ministry: 5 Ways Church Leaders Can Stay Mentally Healthy


Maintaining your sanity in ministry can be tough. If you’ve been serving in the church long enough, you know that dealing with pressure is difficult. Sometimes you might feel out of balance and wonder if you’ll make it.

Over the years, I’ve found several things that work well for me. I even joke that they maintain my sanity. But the truth is, they do!

These five things keep me healthy and help me stay the course. If you do these things, they’ll help you maintain sanity in church and youth ministry too.

5 Tips for Maintaining Sanity in Youth Ministry

1. Develop friendships outside your work.

Sure, you should be friends with the people you live and serve with. But also find some friends you can talk to about anything and everything. You don’t need many; even two or three are plenty. But they can be invaluable.

If you only have friends inside the church, there’s always a dual relationship. So develop some friendships in which you can talk honestly. It’s healthy. An easy choice is to find a peer (a pastor or key volunteer) in another church or community.

2. Stay physically active.

I have a hard time motivating myself to go to the gym or doing any sort of recreation. I find it easier to work. And binge-watch Netflix or Hulu (if I’m being honest). But the reality is that I’m better and healthier when I do engage in recreation.

Physical activity actually makes me sharper and more disciplined. It helps me be so much more effective in my work. Plus, it can prevent burnout too.

3. See a Christian counselor.

There’s no shame in good therapy. I have a couple of close friends in ministry that I do life with. But I’ve also sought out a Christian counselor several times and have no regrets about it. It’s healthy to share your struggles with someone who can help, and doing so will keep you in ministry longer!