As part of our Talking Points series called Resilience: Finding Wholeness in Ministry by Way of the Cross, we invited four pastors to chat with us about some of their experiences in ministry and their practices for remaining resilient. One pastor was unable to join us at the last-minute, but we had a remarkable conversation with Nate Wagner of Sparta Baptist, Kizombo Kalumbula of Tabernacle Community Church and Rob Peterson of North Park Seminary.

We posed three questions to them:

  1. Can you describe a time when a particular leadership or administration challenge in ministry was detrimental to your sense of wellbeing? What steps did you take to be resilient in the midst of that challenge? What did you learn from navigating that season?
  2. What are some of your current self-care practices?
  3. When it comes to resilience and wellbeing in ministry, where do you still need to grow?

We wanted them to focus on the politics of ministry, which Bob Burns spoke about in a previous session.

As I listened, I detected a few themes:

  • These pastors have sought to anchor their identity in Jesus Christ as opposed to in their title or role or in their success or failure. They know that God loves them, that He chose them.
  • These pastors intentionally spend time in the presence of God. One practices silence and does a daily prayer of examine. Another uses centering prayer, and a third pauses before God prior to every speaking event, sermon or counseling appointment.
  • These pastors desire to know God even more.

You can watch a recording of the panel here.

Attendees received a free copy of “The Politics of Ministry: Navigating Power Dynamics and Negotiating Interests” by Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman, and Donald C. Guthrie. This is a follow-up to their original research presented in “Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us about Surviving and Thriving.”