Defeating Your Pastoral Worry


There is no doubt that pastors worry from time to time. The truth is worry is a complete waste of time and no problem has ever been solved by worrying. Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere. A study has said that 97% of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.

When pastors engage their mind worrying over scenarios that have yet to take place, it can result in sleepless nights and low productivity. We must stop worrying and start living more productively for kingdom impact. These three remedies for worry we’ll discuss below are particularly useful in a pastor’s life. Understanding how to make these work for you will help you live each day well. The first steps will eliminate the majority of  your worry; the second step will remove the other small percentage and the last step will launch you into a trajectory to prevent future worry.

1. Analyze your worry. Asking yourself the following two questions can help you work through worry when it creeps into your mind. Question #1: What am I worried about? Write down your worry and list the outcome(s) of what you think will happen. Question #2: What can I do about it? Create a list and process through solutions and outcomes to the worry. This exercise will help you describe your worry in precise detail and help you handle the outcome. It will also lead you to take the proper course of action to that worry. 97% of your concerns disappear after this process. The more you analyze your worry with possible outcomes and solutions, the more it will fade away.

2. Drop your expectations. Pastors often have more to accomplish in a day than they have hours in the day to complete the tasks, and that can cause worry. The best course of action is to embrace the worst case scenario. Create a list of tasks that you have to accomplish in the day. Imagine after writing the list that nothing on it will get done. After accepting that your day failed, you are now free from the pressures of the list. As you begin to check things off the list, you start to reverse the feeling of failure into a mindset of productive achievement. It helps if you ask yourself: How did I improve on this day? By embracing the worst case scenario, you have the power to reverse the worry of a failed, unaccomplished day into a mindset of success and accomplishment.

3. Work in time blocks: Learning to look at a list of things to do with energy and exploration frees a person from drudge. Some people call this living within a compartment or a time block. Learning to function within time blocks helps you to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish while protecting you from the worry mindset. Tell yourself that for the next 30 minutes, the only thing that matters is X. Then set a timer and complete the task. If something comes up, put it on a list of things to do later, but don’t let yourself get distracted. In the 1900s ships were built with compartments so that if one part of the ship started to flood, the compartment could be sealed off to not allow the other parts of the ship to flood. These compartments saved the entire ship from sinking. The use of working within time blocks will compartmentalize the worry. When you compartmentalize the worry, it seals off the parts of your life that matter so that you do not sink.

Jesus said, “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) As the captain of your ship, you can press the red button to shut the iron doors and prevent the flood of worry in your life. Do today’s work with excellence and let tomorrow take care of itself. Make today successful, and do not allow floods to sink your leadership.

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