A church planter has a challenging job. They have to be a church leader, business manager, and community organizer all at the same time. It can be incredibly stressful with an overwhelming workload that is never-ending.

Church planting also requires emotional strength as they are often leading the church into uncharted territory where there is no previous experience for them to draw from. This leaves many pastors feeling discouraged and depressed, which leads some of them to quit ministry all together. This is why we have come up with ways on what to do when depressed and discouraged.


1. Get Enough Sleep Every Night


A study conducted by Soul Shepherding states that 75% of pastors quitting ministry say they are “extremely” or “highly stressed.” This is because church planters are often working late into the night.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America advises those suffering from depression, both circumstantial and clinical, to get more sleep and eat well-balanced meals — both of which help the body endure the strenuous symptoms of depression. When discouraged pastors get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night, they will have the energy they need to work throughout the day and deal with church members who are giving them a hard time.


2. Exercise Regularly


Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood. If you’re not exercising regularly, start small with some easy exercises like walking or doing some push-ups. It will help you feel better physically, as well as mentally. Exercise also has some direct stress-relieving benefits, such as an improved mood and feeling of well-being.


3. Find a Mentor


If you are discouraged, don’t go at it alone. Find a mentor in church leadership who can help you with the challenges of church ministry and encourage you. Don’t let discouragement keep you from reaching your full potential in ministry. Look for someone who has been in ministry for a long time and understands the ups and downs of being a pastor.


You are not alone!


As you read through this blog post, keep in mind that we are all imperfect humans who make mistakes every day. These suggestions are not exhaustive, but if you follow these suggestions, you can reduce stress and improve your emotional health.

Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be healthy because your family needs you, your congregation needs you, the body of Christ needs you! Why? Because your mission is not done.


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Jeff Hoglen

A church planter since 2001, Jeff Hoglen is the CEO of churchplanting.com. Jeff is a practitioner & lifelong learner within the church planting and church revitalization fields. Jeff is currently pastoring in NC and oversees a network of 40 churches in the Philippines with DOVE International. Jeff has earned an M.Div, a D.Min. and is a certified coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team.

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