Leader health is essential to the effectiveness and longevity of leaders. In order to be healthy, leaders must engage in self-care. Generally, Christian leaders, especially pastors and those working in churches are terrible about self-care.
Many Christian leaders, church staff and pastors have a martyr syndrome. Somehow we have come to believe that being a good Christian or a good pastor means being a martyr. We have convinced ourselves that self-harm is a natural and even holy part of ministry leadership. This is not consistent with the scripture, the life of Jesus or the great commandment (love God, love others, love self).
Jesus Cannot do it Without Me
We would never say this out loud, but we operate as if we believe it. Our refusal to stop and take care of ourselves is often rooted in a deeply engrained theological problem. Jesus cannot solve this problem, fix this organization, help this person without me. Jesus needs me.
The reality is that we know this is not true, but we fail to live this truth.
Remember that self-care made the top ten commandments (sabbath). God rested. Jesus rested and took time alone to pray and rest. If it is good enough for God, it is good enough for us.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director