Emotional | Full Strength Network
Creating Shared Meaning

Creating Shared Meaning

Relationships that last, especially in families and congregations, have a sense of shared meaning. Shared meaning is bounded by trustworthiness and commitment, built on a “you’ve got my back and I’ve got yours” attitude and grounded in solid conflict management. ...
Gratitude And Anxiety

Gratitude And Anxiety

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ...
Reconciling

Reconciling

When we confess our sins and repent, we are immediately reconciled to God (Rom 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:17-29, I Jn 1:9). Within our interpersonal relationships, however, reconciliation may not happen, may be limited in scope, or may be fully completed. Why this range of...
Empathy

Empathy

Do you desire to be a leader who creates safety for others? Do you desire the ability to maintain connection, even when your congregation goes through difficult seasons? Of course! The big question we should be asking ourselves as pastors within this context is…How do...
Living Prayer

Living Prayer

As pastors, we know the foundation of our spiritual lives is prayer. We teach converts and congregants that prayer is a conversation with God, the underpinning of a life of faith. We lead formal and informal prayers in groups wherever we go, and the most frequent...
Losing Motivation

Losing Motivation

As a pastor, if you have discovered your motivation has taken a vacation and left you behind, you are not alone. Many others are in this place, and it’s challenging to regain a sense of direction, motivation, and stamina once you’ve entered burnout mode.  The good...
Managing Your Negative Emotions

Managing Your Negative Emotions

While most church leaders prefer to avoid negative emotions such as distress, fear, anxiety, etc., all church leaders will experience a variety of negative emotions at some point. Negative emotions are our survival brain’s early warning signals that something is...
Top 3 Practices Of Organized Pastors

Top 3 Practices Of Organized Pastors

Moment of truth–pastors are not always known for being the most organized. In a highly relational career, other strengths take priority, and pastors can go years without really gaining a sense of an organized rhythm in their jobs. Pretty soon, all hope for a healthy...
Delight In The Lord

Delight In The Lord

Why did you get into ministry? If you think back to the very beginning of when you decided to enter into the role of pastor or church ministry leader, what was the catalyst? (We can rule out money–or if that was the catalyst…we need to talk.)  For most ministry...
Like A Child

Like A Child

Picture this: It’s a summer evening, and you’re sitting near a campfire with friends. Children are playing nearby, and their giggles drift toward you. You’re staring hard at your lap, willing your muscles to relax, and praying fiercely, “Lord, help!” As you sit there,...
5 Shifts For Missional Impact

5 Shifts For Missional Impact

The slightest shift in a practice can dramatically affect an outcome. Have you noticed this to be true? Think of the dedication of Olympic athletes who devote their lives to their craft. Everything they eat, hours they sleep, and time spent practicing all culminate in...
Solitude And Silence

Solitude And Silence

Jesus needed it. So did Moses, Elijah, Mary, and Paul. And that is just for starters. All the leading Fathers and Mothers throughout church history needed it, too. People like Augustine, Luther, Wesley, Calvin, and modern spiritual leaders such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer,...
Are You A High Hoper?

Are You A High Hoper?

Researchers observe that hope is active, not passive. How would you describe your interaction with hope? Because we can hope for things with a healthy understanding of God’s sovereignty, and we can hope for things outside of that sovereignty. And the outcomes will...
Humility: A Foundational Pastoral Virtue

Humility: A Foundational Pastoral Virtue

“. . .there are many who through the temptation of authority in the holy Church aspire to the glory of honor. They want to be seen as teachers and they lust to be superior to others…They are all the more unable to minister worthily to the office of pastoral care...
Lectio Divina (Devotional Reading)

Lectio Divina (Devotional Reading)

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 When was the last time you read the Word of God to drink deeply of his presence rather than prepare a sermon or a Bible study? Lectio Divina is one way you can read Scripture to...
Rest: It’s Not What You Think

Rest: It’s Not What You Think

What’s the first thing that truly comes to your mind when you read Matthew 11:28? “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Does your response lean toward a cynical, “Yeah right. Must be nice”? Maybe you naturally respond with hope...
Trust And Trustworthiness

Trust And Trustworthiness

Trust and trustworthiness are essential qualities of relationships that last a lifetime. This holds true for pastors and their spouses just as much as for other couples. John and Julie Gottman define trust as the specific state of a relationship that exists when both...
Anxious Pastors

Anxious Pastors

If you were to take an inventory of your level of anxiety, what would you find? What circumstances, struggles, or relationships are elevating anxiety over peace in your life? As pastors, the list can be extensive. A typical week can max out your capacity for...
How Is Your EQ?

How Is Your EQ?

Have you ever thought about the fact that we serve a God who is comfortable with His own emotions? Think about it! Our God takes delight in His creation (Gen. 1); He is jealous (Ex. 20:5); He loves (Jer 31:3); He can become angry (Jer 30:24). As you read Scripture...
3 Reminders for Lonely Pastors

3 Reminders for Lonely Pastors

Whether you’re starting a church, beginning a new pastoring role, or stepping in to lead a ministry, no one usually introduces the position as a lonely one. We focus on the ministry potential, the congregation needing a shepherd, and the ways God will miraculously...
3 Steps to Improved Team Performance

3 Steps to Improved Team Performance

Imagine this with us–you work on a church staff where there is little drama. Each team is in their lane, moving the ball down the court when appropriate, and morale is high across the board. Seem too good to be true?  In the fast pace of church leadership, dealing...
When Being Too Sweet Is Bad

When Being Too Sweet Is Bad

What do pastors get when they combine bi-vocational work, tending to family needs, and the general ups and downs of life? Answer (most of the time): suffering heath. The demand on clergy is taxing, and ministry often demands more than pastors feel they can give.  ...
Offering a Good Confession

Offering a Good Confession

When it comes to any relationship, someone is bound to eventually act or speak in ways that offend another. We’re human, we make mistakes, and the closer you get in a relationship, the more opportunity for hurt or offense. These offenses may be unintentional or...
5 Barriers to Listening

5 Barriers to Listening

Pastors are listeners. Through all the efforts to provide care and counsel in the face of lockdowns, mandates, regulations, and congregational division, listener posture and listening practice have remained a priority for the pastor. You’ll notice people want to feel...
Personal Finances

Personal Finances

Personal Finances Few areas in our lives are as sensitive as personal finances. And especially for ministry leaders and their families, it’s often a quick path to stress, uncertainty, and frustration. Sometimes we don’t know where to start with our financial problems...
Lonely Leaders

Lonely Leaders

The headcount of pastors leaving ministry roles is staggering sometimes. You most likely know of a pastor who has left full-time ministry or is thinking about it. And when asked about the reason behind this, the most common responses include: Money  Moral failing ...
Boost Peace Through Prayer

Boost Peace Through Prayer

Can you remember a time when you felt at peace? With the world experiencing chaos at any given minute and church numbers in flux each month, it can be challenging to find a moment of calm in the middle of it all. Many ministry leaders have chatter on replay in their...
5 Ways to Boost Emotional Wellness

5 Ways to Boost Emotional Wellness

Schedules are full, demands are high, the notifications are buzzing, plus our goals can grow into lofty lists. What’s the one thing that will immediately stop you in your tracks and force you to pause your plans? Answer: A health crisis. Ignoring the warning...
The Peril of Success

The Peril of Success

Ah success . . . an oft-used word in our country. Many times, an oft-misunderstood word. What happens when we get this “success thing” right? What happens when we get it wrong? 28 years ago, I suffered through major depression. I was pastoring a growing church. We had...
Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Becoming Your Own Best Friend

The CDC came out with this stunning report last year: In July 2020, 1 in 4 young adults in America ages 18-24, contemplated suicide due to the pandemic. That’s a 300% increase over July 2019. In August 2020, The JAMA Network reported the percentage of Americans...
Boost Peace Through Prayer

5 Ways to Boost Peace Through Prayer

Can you remember a time when you felt at peace? With the world experiencing chaos at any given minute and church numbers in flux each month, it can be challenging to find a moment of calm in the middle of it all. Many ministry leaders have chatter on replay in their...
Three Things Everyone Needs

Three Things Everyone Needs

There are three ingredients everyone needs to experience fulfillment long term. And you can share them with others at no cost. In fact, offering these three ingredients will benefit you as well. A Missing Ingredient Jennifer, a young pastor, was in her third year of...
Busy Is a Four-Letter Word

Busy Is a Four-Letter Word

“Busy” is a four-letter word that should be profane. Our lives so easily become full of responsibilities and commitments that dogpile on top of us—and our souls get crushed under the load. This post, on our ExPastors blog, takes a look at how busy-sickness can impact...
Ten Reasons We Should Practice Solitude

Ten Reasons We Should Practice Solitude

If we are to live as true followers of Jesus, we will be intentional about the practice of solitude. Let’s look at 10 different times in Jesus’ life when he made solitude a priority: To Prepare for Ministry In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus fasts for 40 days in the wilderness...
Caught in the Cross Hairs

Caught in the Cross Hairs

Crossbow and gun enthusiasts use a sight to lock in on the center of a target. Where one hair (or line) crosses another, the center of that union is referred to as ‘the cross hairs.’ Literally, this center point is under fire.  Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life,...
Relational Stewardship for Pastors

Relational Stewardship for Pastors

At some point in every leader’s journey, the Holy Spirit introduces the topic of stewardship. Our stewardship duties encompass many areas of life including the spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, intellectual, and financial domains of wellbeing. Our focus here...