Jump directly to the Content

The Ministry Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

God has not promised immunity to those who self-inflict physical and mental abuse for the sake of the kingdom.

I am not a physician. But physicians know me very well. More important, I have come to appreciate them as never before. Today I realize what I did to myself throughout my Christian life as a pastor, missionary, Christian businessman, and writer. Over a year ago, open heart surgery (a quadruple by-pass during which I "died" twice) proved the point once and for all: God is not the author of self-inflicted physical and mental abuse for the sake of the kingdom.

When Nietzsche said, "A sedentary life is the real sin against the Holy Ghost," he expressed one reason ministers and writers are the highest risks to insurance companies. Both professions involve too many deadlines and too much sitting (counseling, researching, writing sermons, or what have you), which create continual heat in the arterial system. My own complicated open heart surgery in March of 1978 at the age of 50 left little doubt about what I had done to myself. I had pastored for six years, been a missionary for three, taught ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Calling all Christians
Calling all Christians
There are no second rate callings
From the Magazine
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
They Might Be Giants. (Or Angels. Or Superhuman Devils.)
Who, or what, are the Nephilim? We don’t know—and maybe we don’t need to.
Editor's Pick
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
How the Early Church Dealt with Racial and Cultural Division
They saw that their ability to truly be the church was at stake.
close