Mental Health Resources for Struggling Pastors

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Mental Health & the Church

The church has a history of stigmatizing mental illness. We have often associated it with moral failure, instead of seeing it as a medical issue just like other kinds of illness. It’s easy to talk about my back pain or high blood pressure, but admitting I have anxiety or depression is often accompanied with deep feelings of shame.

Because of the prevalence of mental illness, and the shame that so often accompanies it, destigmatizing mental illness in the church is an urgent, vital task for church leaders today. To learn more, check out our article on Mental Health & the Church.

Books About Mental Health for Churches

If you’re looking to learn more about mental health and the church, here are some books we recommend:

Podcasts About Mental Health in the Church

We talk about mental health quite a bit on the Gravity Leadership Podcast. Here are a few recent episodes that touch on elements of mental health:

Articles About Church Mental Health

Here are some helpful articles on mental health and the church.

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What Is Pastor Burnout?

Experts define pastor burnout (also known as clergy or ministry burnout) as a complex set of symptoms that includes emotional exhaustion, a high degree of depersonalization exhibited in negative and detached reactions, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.

All these symptoms working together contribute to the diminishing of one’s ability to function effectively as a pastor and are detrimental to the pastor’s mental health. Check out our resource page on pastor burnout to learn more.

Books About Pastor Burnout

Podcasts About Pastor Burnout

Articles About Pastor Burnout

Here are some recommended articles and resources for pastors struggling with burnout and other mental health challenges:

Join the Gravity Community

The Gravity Community is an online community of practice for Christians to stay connected and learn together in an environment that’s safe for questions and doubts. Join the Gravity Community for connection and support for struggling pastors.

Who Pastors the Pastor?

As pastors and leaders alongside you, we at Gravity are intimately familiar with the challenges of leadership and the painful path toward burnout. We have found freedom in the way of Jesus and want to walk alongside you.

We offer support and encouragement for struggling pastors and community for the isolated. Take a look at some of our resources for peer support and practical training, and reach out to us with any questions you have:

  • The Gravity Community: Our online community of practice to stay connected with others and learn together how to faithfully navigate life and mission amid our current cultural earthquakes
  • Gravity Formation Course: Our 12-month A 12-month cohort-based training in practical spiritual formation

Real Conversations about Ministry

By joining the Gravity Community, you’ll get access to conversations about:

Coaching for Pastors

Coaching can be an excellent option for pastors who want to grow in their ability to face and befriend mental health challenges in the church and beyond.

Although coaching is not a form of mental health treatment, it can help pastors show up in healthier ways for their congregation. The Gravity Formation Course is our 12-month cohort-based training in practical spiritual formation.

Transform Your Ministry

The Gravity Formation Course has the potential to transform your life and leadership in profound ways. Many pastors have gone from frantically putting out fires to calmly acting from an identity rooted in God’s love. 

You’ll learn to live a good and beautiful life as a disciple of Jesus in God’s good kingdom. It’s about learning to bring real-life, lasting, sustainable, reproducible transformation to yourself and those you’re leading.

Invest in Your Church Leaders

The Gravity Formation Course also helps church leaders grow in their skills so they can step into their calling more faithfully. It contributes to the mental health of the leader, allowing ministry to become life-giving again.You’ll learn to lead people in transformational change and make disciples effectively. You’ll learn to see what God is doing in you, and join God in working through you. Best of all, you’ll learn to rest in the easy yoke of Jesus, removing the resistance and allowing transformation, instead of pushing for it or trying to make it happen.