The Impact of Regular Physical Exercise on the Pastor and His Ministry
The ministry can bring a great amount of stress into the life of a pastor. A pastor is often pulled from many directions. He is expected to do a great number of tasks, and what is more, to do them very well. On a weekly basis, a pastor may be called upon to preach a quality sermon, teach numerous Bible classes, perform outreach calls, visit people in the hospital, and give counseling sessions, among many other tasks. Stress in the life of a pastor may lead to burnout in his ministry. How can a pastor guard against the adverse effects of stress and burnout? There are many wonderful methods and resources for managing stress (Bible study and prayer are at the top of the list), at the head of which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, this thesis will seek to espouse the benefits of just one method—regular physical exercise. This thesis will communicate the biblical basis for physical exercise, demonstrate how research has shown regular physical exercise to provide a boost to emotional and mental health, present the personal testimony of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) pastors in regards to how exercise has had an influence on their lives and ministries, and give encouragement as to how a pastor might go about exercising.