As congregations gear back up for the increased demands of their fall schedules, their clergy leaders often find themselves also dealing with increased stress.

A quick survey of resources related to clergy stress reveals that some of the key contributors to that stress include:

  • Too many demands on time and energy.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Role confusion or conflict.
  • Unclearly defined boundaries.
  • Loneliness.
  • Poor eating habits.
  • Lack of physical exercise.

So what is a clergy leader to do? Here are a few suggestions for keeping stress at an appropriate level:

  • Discover meaningful spiritual disciplines.
  • Take regular time off — from daily relaxation to a weekly “day off” to annual vacations to sabbaticals.
  • Get proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
  • Find intentional support systems.
  • Set realistic time management goals.


Featured Resources

AL125_SM Clergy Self-Care: Finding a Balance for Effective Ministry by Roy M. Oswald

Discover how imbalances in your physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual lives can destroy the very ministry you seek to carry out. Learn what you can do to restore that balance. Packed with self-assessment tools, real-life experiences, and specific self-care strategies.

AL166_SMThe Pastor’s Survival Manual: Ten Perils in Parish Ministry and How to Handle Them  by Kenneth Alan Moe

Clergy will want this book for themselves or their peer study and support groups; judicatory executives will find it a useful resource for counseling clergy; and seminary professors will want their students to read it.