Emotional health is critical for church leaders. These ten ideas have been a lifeline to me during my ministry, and have helped me create an internal thought-life that honors God and the people I serve.

Ten emotionally healthy thoughts for church leaders:

  1. I want more for people than from people.
  2. I will obey God and take what He gives me: that’s enough.
  3. I do not need to be recognized, celebrated or rewarded.
  4. Only God measures my life and leadership accurately.
  5. I can only do what I can do — and I will do it.
  6. I will serve the person in front of me.
  7. God is still in control even when I am not (which is most of the time).
  8. If I honor God, He will honor me in His time and in His way.
  9. I choose to find the good.
  10. I cannot make everyone happy, but I can choose to be happy.

Some context for this list:

  • Let me start with a confession: thinking this way does not come easily to me. Unhealthy thoughts appear in my head all the time without warning. Choosing to think healthy thoughts is a discipline.
  • I use these statements as a self-arresting tool. When I find myself operating from an unhealthy perspective, I’ll repeat the statement to myself until I return to a place of health.
  • Sometimes these statements are convictions. Sometimes they are prefaced with the prayer, “God, help me believe this.”
  • As I’ve practiced thinking this way, my brain and heart now default toward health. But I can never let down my guard.
  • Here’s a suggestion for how to start using this list: pick one thought, and repeat it to yourself throughout the day. Let it soak in. Ask God to help you live your day with that perspective.