Team Contacts
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North

Gary Mitchell, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - South
ext. 294

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
ext 234


Pastoral Team

Pastor: Are You Wondering about Wellness? 

Pastor, are you well?

How you answer this question reveals a willingness, or lack thereof, to honestly evaluate who and how you are. Further, the answer to this question may well determine
the quality of your relationships, the quantity of your labor, and the tenure of your ministry. With these concerns highlighted, are you now willing to answer?1  

While “wellness” may be a cultural buzzword, it can easily be understood as “balance.” It is a sense of equilibrium that impacts every facet of life, holistically connecting the spiritual and physical.

Most pastors tend to lean to their strengths. Doing so brings a steadfast reliance upon past victories and known abilities. Yet, in so doing, weaknesses are ignored and only degrade further. Along this treacherous path, strengths will become misaligned. The need for wellness/balance arises.

How well are you, pastor? Do you balance the demands of the ministry with the needs of your family? How is your physical and spiritual nutrition and exercise? What are you sacrificing upon the altar of the church for “success”?

Be careful. You may think you are well, but are ill. You may have lived so long on the “cutting edge,” you have become anesthetized to the needs of your soul, body, and those around you. If the edge really cuts, doesn’t that mean loss of blood and an unhealthy, messy condition?

Watch the contrasting. We pastors suffer from “comparisonitis.” Using faulty measuring devices, we often gauge our existence by seeking to stay staying a step ahead. If we can have more baptisms than Brother Pastor across town, build a bigger building than Brother Minister in the next county, or get a speaking engagement like Brother Denomination, all is well. Conversely, we may think that as long as we “aren’t as bad” as the disgraced clergy receiving all the press, we have survived a bit longer and deserve an entitlement. Remember, a fallen tree did not get rotten overnight.

Remember community. Ministry means people. Allow them to assist you in honest evaluation, proper motivation, and healthy integration. It is tough to be
vulnerable, but the Giver of our giftedness is worthy of our very best. Isolation is a choice that only breeds loneliness, self-centeredness, and inevitable heartache.

Reflect upon Christ Jesus. Ultimately, the Bible is the means of evaluation, specifically, the life of Jesus. The lack of self-care and seemingly indifferent attitude toward improvement among Southern Baptist pastors must be examined under the lamp of Jesus’ example and testimony.

Do the Gospels teach any clear principles of “body stewardship” that support a theology of “temple maintenance”? Ronald D. Sisk mentions three possibilities in his:

  1. The Gospels portray Jesus as particularly concerned with His life and with people’s physical health in this life;
  2. Jesus appears to have had a healthy concern for His own welfare (solitude, rest, and prayer); and
  3. Jesus consistently identified the greatest commandment as: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). The church has missed the emphasis upon a healthy love for self.2  

Pastor, ask and answer this difficult question! Make the necessary adjustments. Desire alone will not do. It will take determined discipline. Waiting is the freshness of your family’s joy, the congregation’s growth and ultimately, the glory of God!

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC.
Fit for the Fight, January 2010

1 Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.
2 Ronald D. Sisk, Surviving Pastoral Ministry (Macon, GA: Smyth and Helwys Publishing, 1997), 70-73.

Fit For The Fight - Current Issue

Fit for the Fight 02-2013
Added 6/4/2013 12:02:30 PM

“Pastor, what do you think about leadership?”  February 2013

The myriad usages of  “leadership” often obscure its origination.[1] Etymology reminds us that the meaning finds its roots in the idea of  “guiding, directing, and traveling.”  Consequently, a leader takes someone along on a journey, with a clear destination.

The Leadership Example

Christians seek to be like Him...a servant.  Leading is serving and serving is leading.  The source material for the footprints and fingerprints of Jesus is found in the Bible. Inspiration and direction come from studying Scripture, praying through the revealed Truth.  While there are official titles and positions for leadership, such labels are unnecessary to lead.  Everyone has a circle of influence. 

The use of “lead” and “serve” as synonyms does not diminish the reality of difficulties, disagreements, or debates.  It does mean the presence of a pastoral spirit and an invisible shepherd’s staff.  


Many “leaders” are survivalists, concerned with popularity over principle.  They “lead” by consensus prodding, when often, the courageous minority is right.  Indeed, a “prophet-deficit” has proven to be unbelievably costly.  The goal of leadership is not to have everyone’s approval, affection, and applause.

Matters of style and strengths are inherently connected to any conversation of leadership.  But, what is said about the substance of leadership?  The source of one’s leadership theology and its implementation/application must be foundationally fixed.  Without such security, the leader will vacillate when the winds of adversity blow.  Such a leader is unreliable, disrespected, and marginalized, even though revered as “successful.”

Personal integrity is humbly bound to a core of convictions, founded and grounded in the Scripture.  Such veracity will garner the respect of most, even amidst divergent views.  Belief and behavior must be congruent.  Convictions must be distinguished from preferences.  Confusing the two will sound an unclear trumpet to all.  


Dictionary.  What dictionary are you using to define and defend your use of “leadership?”   The source may determine the course. 

Direction.  Are you drifting away from the Truth?  The wrong book can you lead you away from the Book.  

Discipleship.  Have you forgotten the Great Commission?  Padding your resume by more seats in padded pews is not necessarily obedience. 

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.  
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 
Fit for the Fight, February 2013 


 [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.