How to Find Mental Strength in the Chaos of Ministry

By Gary Rohrmayer

I don’t know about you, but I am finding that I need to work harder these days to maintain a healthy attitude. 

The chaos of this world from terrorism to politics and natural disasters to human cruelty, can be so mentally draining that we feel our optimistic faith being replaced with a pessimistic spirit. 

As spiritual leaders we need to discover God’s way for renewing our minds and refreshing our resolve to stay focused on God’s mission. 

Today, with the complexities and challenges of ministry, church leaders can lose their faith and see their hope dissipate.  Genuinely ministering to and loving people who bring myriads of problems and life pains with them challenges every spiritual leader.  

The more effectively we reach them the more they keep coming and coming and coming with new problems and difficult life situations. This can overwhelm the best of us.  One pastor said, “Every week we see people coming to faith in Christ.  On one level I rejoice with the angels in heaven and on another level I say to myself this is going to be a lot of work.” 

What does God’s word say about mental toughness? 

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Christ’s followers who lived in Rome, spends the first eleven chapters explaining the wonders of God’s plan of salvation and richness of the gospel.  Then in chapter 12 he turns his attention to the working out of the gospel in our lives and the first thing he addresses is the renewing or strengthening of our minds.  

Just the thought of having to renew our minds suggests a few things: 

  • Our minds can be weakened
  • Our thinking can become stale
  • Our attitudes can turn sour
  • Our viewpoint can be deceived 

Because we live in a world where our thinking can be degraded, the need for daily renewal is on the top of Paul’s list for learning how to live out of the gospel and be engaged in God’s redemptive cause. 

So how does Paul encourage us to strengthen our minds?

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2). 

Reflective Questions 

  • Where does renewed thinking start?
  • How do your daily choices affect your mental wellbeing?
  • Why is worship important to having a healthy attitude?
  • What are some unhealthy attitudes our culture is forcing upon us?
  • List the benefits of a renewed mind.
  • How would you paraphrase this text?

 

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Mental Health, Gary Rohrmayer