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The BIG Pastor Killer!

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After getting hit in the head with a bat…

it seems you would learn not walk in front of the person swinging one at you. Well, I guess I’m not that bright!

After many years of trying to be the most Kingdom building, productive, caring, loving and reproducing leader, I have been forced to face this…


Emotional Health…Trumps all Else!

We’re created in God’s image. God is an emotional being and so are we. We talk a lot about caring for ourselves in many ways:

  • Spiritually
  • Physically
  • Relationally
  • Financially, etc…
But, if you don’t take care of yourself, and stay healthy emotionally, you can kill off everything else in your life!
That is the only area I’ve found with that kind of killing power…
in the life of a human being. Once you allow yourself to become so emotionally un-healthy, it’s almost, if not impossible for all the other areas of your life to suffer tremendous harm.

Sick Emotions Kill Relationships

Emotionally unhealthy people withdraw, they criticize unfairly and carry bitterness and unforgiveness. These kill relationships, no matter how close or far. From marriage to distant friendships.

If we are weak emotionally, we can destroy precious relationships (Been there done that!)

Sick Emotions Kill Finances 

Ever hear of a mid-life crisis? An unwarranted spending binge? An unexpected bankruptcy? I’ve seen all these in those close to me, and it’s horrible. Emotionally un-healthy people, make un-healthy and dangerous financial decisions.

If you aren’t well emotionally, ask a trusted family member or friend before you make ANY major changes or purchases.

Sick Emotions Kill Passion

We are to be a passionate people. Passionate for God, for the things of God and the people of God, and those who don’t know God. All this passion takes takes incredible emotional strength. In fact, emotional strength is the ONLY thing that can fuel the passion we need.

So if we don’t care for our emotional health, our passion dies!

Sick Emotions Kill Physically

Believe it or not. Stress, anxiety and depression lead to an early, and I mean very early and painful end! Don’t go there. Your emotions are directly tied to how you feel, heal and move physically.

Emotions can wreck your body, from the inside out.


I have been un-healthy emotionally (Hit in the head with a bat) more than once! But no more! I will do WHATEVER it takes to stay healthy emotionally. I challenge you to do the same. To much is riding on our emotional health to neglect it?

So, seriously…How are you doing emotionally? See any danger signs? How can I help?

Categories: Church Leadership, Leadership


  • Joe Tanner

    Thou grief is a journey, our emotions fly to mountain tops and then crash in the lowest valley. Walk with God in the journey and draw on close friends. Master the emotions

  • Auxano

    I agree with this principle. However, where and how does a pastor who recognizes he or she is at-risk get help? What are resources or processes that will create health before the collapse occurs? Any suggestions?

    • Artie Davis

      I have found the first step is to find a pier group that allows you to be completely transparent. A safe place, especially for pastors, a group that can really relate with your pain, and hold you accountable for being healthy emotionally.

  • Larry Lundstrom

    Been there too many times. Red flags for me usually are negative or bitter comments especially around those I love the most. They don’t seem to fly out anywhere else. They even catch me off guard and reveal, I need to slow down, refresh and deal with whatever is bothering me.

  • Roger

    Good article. When you are emotionally unhealthy it is hard to see it. Like “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Give us some clear indications of unhealthy emotions.

  • rudy

    Any person in a poor/bad emotional state of being can easily ruin their career,relationships, and finances if not careful.It truly makes sense to recognize when you have a problem, and seek God’s guidance.Some turn to their friends first and not always a good idea.Prayer changes things, and if you at least need guidance seek the counsel of your spiritual leader.

  • Charles Bell

    I believe alot of emotional problems could be corrected with a focus on courage and increasing thumos-powered courage in our churches, especially with pastors and church leaders; I think the application process to all seminaries should incorporate a Courage Assessment Test (CAT). Questions like this should be asked:

    ~Can you tell us about a time when you showed courage?

    ~Why did you do what you did?

    ~Can you tell us about a time when you showed cowardice?

    ~Why did you do what you did?

    ~What happened after each occasion?

    Today thumos-powered courage is in startlingly rare supply, so we must prioritize and emphasize grace when we discover this treasonous state of our soul that has rendered us cowardly and innocuous. Calling forth an absent attribute doesn’t get it onto the front burner of our spiritual lives right away, but at least it will be moved onto the stove top.

    These same questions should be revisited upon graduation. Perhaps they should be requirements to the point that candidates do not receive their degrees until (for example) they have a witness to at least one courageous deed. Deacons and elders should be asked these seminal questions as well. So should Sunday school workers.

    Perhaps questions about cowardice will be the most important. You learn a lot about a person by his cowardice, not so we can condemn but rather help. This isn’t information that should be shared with just anyone; perhaps before the questions are asked of a potential student or leader, members of the review board should profess an act of their own cowardice in order to warm up the room. In this way—whether the setting is academic or familial—we can pray for one another and bind up each other’s spiritual wounds, since cowardice brings up a degree of shame most of us don’t want to remember.

  • kingsley a adjei

    my church leadership has gone through a transition and the new elder in charge dispise me,imotionally i am hurt and i have decline in the things i have been doing in the church which has aslo affected the church.the church board has volted for me to be ordain as an associate elder to serve with him which i dont like to accep. what do i do in situation like this?i need some help

    • Artie Davis

      That sounds like a very hard situation. I take it you aren’t the senior leader, which makes changing things almost impossible. I see it you have 2 choices:
      Stay under the authority of the leader, and do so humbly and with a joyful and supportive heart. or,
      Leave with dignity and pray God places you in a place you feel the freedom to serve your passions.

  • Dave Vander Laan

    I resigned because i was not emotionally healthy. I preached grace but felt like I needed to earn affirmation based on my performance. If there were difficulties in the church I served, it felt like finger were pointed my direction – along with blame. And with the blame, came the guilt and shame.

    In my letter of resignation, I said wanted to get well.

    And bu God’s good, sustaining, remarkable grace – I am!

    Thank you for this good word about the importance of emotional health.

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