More Than a Spiritual Problem: The Pastor Deals with Anxiety
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A pastor will encounter many joyful opportunities in his ministry; so also does he encounter many difficulties and challenges. The anxiety he feels in those moments is his body telling him to prepare for those challenges. However, some pastors will struggle to express their anxiety in healthy or normal ways. Their struggle may involve severe delay or avoidance of the situation, shame and guilt, and loss of self-identity. This may lead to anxiety, where the world around them becomes a dangerous and unpredictable place. This thesis will investigate a pastor’s identity in light of his biology and his environment and then look at the unique challenges of ministry that are feeding his anxiety. This thesis is interested in asking the question: Is the pastor who deals with constant anxiety morally failing his calling to serve God’s people? Is his anxiety a hidden sin that duly disqualifies him from the ministry? As he reaches a more enlightened understanding of his anxiety, the pastor will find that it is not simply driven by an absence of faith but is a real disorder that must be treated as any other physical disorder would be treated.