003 - 7 Ways for a Pastor to Stay Mentally Fresh - Leaders.Church


003 – 7 Ways for a Pastor to Stay Mentally Fresh

What’s in this Episode?

You’ve got to be on your game 24/7 365. There’s no rest for the wicked or the righteous. You push hard, study hard, pray hard and do everything else hard. All these people have giant expectations, viewing you as their super pastor. In their eyes, you’re taking this church to places they’ve never imagined possible. But oops, you’re not super pastor. And guess what? You’re just plain worn out. Not only physically, but also mentally. You’re not as sharp. The mental toll is big, and you don’t feel mentally fresh. What happened? And how can you come back to mental freshness? Well, stay tuned, because that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode.

Read the Transcript

Jonathan Hardy 0:55
So just a couple weeks ago, I rebuilt my entire schedule for the way I operate my life from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed, you saw the schedule there I’m showing you as we’re talking through how it works with us and in our interaction together. But basically, from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed, I literally block out or schedule every moment of every day, so that I know how I’m gonna be able to best function as I go from day to day and different days kind of have different focuses and different things I’m trying to accomplish. And you probably have some sort of schedule that you follow, and to one degree or another, you kind of have general rhythms and that’s the thing I was trying to create. What’s an ideal week look like? And how can I create the rhythms that are going to be the most refreshing for me, and in the way I operate? Because the reality is, and this is probably true for you, I’m assuming, is there are certain times of the day that are best for us, our mind is the freshest. Our physical energy is the strongest, and we want to capitalize on those moments and we don’t want to be using our precious time mentally on things that aren’t going to be the most beneficial before the task at hand. And so that’s one of the things that is helpful. And that’s why I created this schedule that I’m working on for quite some time. I really had to figure out, how can I maximize that time and stay fresh? And then how can I operate the other moments of the day where I’m not as strong mentally, to be able to leverage those times to be able to be as effective as I can be in those moments. And so that really goes to the whole idea of what we want to talk about today, which is how to create that mentally fresh way of life. 24/7 365. How can we operate as best as we can with mental freshness? And how can we improve in that way? And so we want to give you seven specific ways that a pastor can stay mentally fresh, and we’re going to be diving into those today here. So dick, what do you say, you want to jump in?

Dick Hardy 2:52
I think one of the interesting things too, when we looked at that schedule of yours was the fact that you literally have slots. You didn’t call it mental freshness. You were investing in your yourself. Your leadership development, your time with the Lord becoming fresher in your thinking and I thought I could commend you for putting spots there because it’s not gonna happen automatically.

Jonathan Hardy 3:19
Yes, it’s not gonna happen automatically.

#1: Acknowledge Each Day To Be a New Day

Dick Hardy 3:21
But anyway, we want to get to these points here. The very first thing that we want to note to you is that you need to acknowledge each day to be a new day. Rain or shine, it’s a new day. And while things can go bad, I had it happen about a week ago on a Wednesday night. I mean, the world was caving in, in my mind. I mean, it wasn’t caving in but something had gone wrong. And I went I dove and I had to say to myself, no, chalk this off. Thursday morning when I woke up. It’s a new day. Yes, revel in the new day, you know, guide your mind. This is where the intentionality comes in. Guide your mind to think in terms of the new 24 hours. So it’s a new day. And you’ve got to think that way. And thank God for life today.that’s point number one. Number two, Jonathan.

#2: Pray For Wisdom From The Lord

Jonathan Hardy 4:15
Number two, pray for wisdom from the Lord, to renew your mind. It’s very important that you go to the Lord and ask him to renew your mind. We obviously can do the things you’re talking about. I can read the books, I can do all the things that I know I need to do and some of the practical ideas we’re going to be giving you today, in this episode. You need to do these things. But one of the most important things is really on the heels of the acknowledging, hey, it’s a new day is, you go to the Lord and you have to commit this to the Lord and say, God, I need you to renew my mind. Romans, chapter 12, is one of those well known verses. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” And later, I think it’s the next verse. It talks about it being your spiritual worship, but sometimes that word is actually translated as rational worship. And one of the things that I think that you know Paul is talking about and that we need to remember is that we need to renew our mind and rationally refresh and seek God and know that he’s going to be the one to help us. And so it’s so important that we go to the Lord to ask him for help in this because it’s so easy to spiral down, to be negative, to allow the stuff of life to weigh you down. And only God can help you to take away, ultimately. There’s other practical things we’re going to talk about that you can do that are just logically, God gives us wisdom to do these other things, but first, we have to go to him and ask for the wisdom. So that’s the second thing.

#3: Live Without Regrets

Dick Hardy 5:45
Exactly. Number three is to live without regrets. Now listen, you’re like me. We’ve made mistakes. Things have goofed up. Maybe you even made mistakes today, yesterday. You can’t dwell on those mistakes. The more you dwell on those past failures, the more you’re going to spiral yourself downward and you’re gonna diminish your mental freshness. Now, I’m not suggesting you live in denial. I mean, you made a mistake. Own it. Fess up, get going. But, you need to be looking forward, not backward at your mistakes. You know, it was probably, probably the same Wednesday night. I was reflecting on my skills as a dad. Sitting here with my son. I haven’t told you this. So the other night I’m thinking and I zero in on the mistakes I made as a dad. I’m thinking now my kids have never, you know, accused me of being a lousy dad or accused me of making mistakes. But every dad out there every mom out there knows that you’ve made mistakes, and I start dwelling on that. And I start thinking of how bad that I am. I’m telling you when I got up Thursday morning, I had to flush that, because I was not going to live in regrets. By-in-large things have gone very very well, and I can’t focus on those, but we all fall prey to that. Don’t live with regrets.

Jonathan Hardy 7:06
That’s right. What’s the fourth thing?

#4: Express Gratitude

Dick Hardy 7:08
Oh, number four. Yeah, I guess that’s me. A flip side of that or a tandem to that is express gratitude. Be thankful for those things that the Lord has done. You know, wherever you’re at in the journey of ministry, now, you have a lot to be thankful for. Thankful to God, thankful to family, thankful to the ministry in the church to add for those sayings. We are a most blessed people, that includes you, that includes me.

#5: Exercise Your Physical Body

Jonathan Hardy 7:35
Okay, guys, the fifth thing, the fifth way to help you stay mentally fresh is actually to exercise your physical body. Do exercise, whether it’s lifting weights, whether it’s cardio, whatever it might be, you need to do something. It could be as simple as walking, going out and getting some fresh air just to help kind of refresh your mind. When you go out and exercise, there’s science behind what it does to you mentally. And without getting into all the details of it, the bottom line is, exercise is a stress reliever it takes away that weight and that pressure and then it gives you a mental clarity. Now, if you are an exerciser, you know this to be true. You know, I know when I go out for a run, that ideas flow. I mean, it’s unbelievable. It’s like if I could just have a pen and paper with me while I’m running to write all these ideas. I mean, they just come and oftentimes I get home from a run, or I’m talking to dad over here, and I’m like, man, I just got this idea. And it comes to me when I’m out running. Physical exercise does a powerful thing for refreshing your mind, simulate your mind. And so you’ve got it. You’ve got to make this a priority. And someone said, “well, I don’t have time.” Well, you have to make time but no one has time right? But you go back to even what I was talking about. You got to you got to build a schedule and then you have to put it on the calendar and then you actually have to do it. “Well, I don’t like to exercise.” Well. Do you like to be mentally fresh? If you do, then you know it’s going to help.

#6: Rest Your Body Physically

Alright, we’re gonna move on number six. Rest your body Physically. You got to make sure you’re resting your body. So you work hard, you work tons of hours in a week, you’re exercising, you’ve got meetings, you’ve got commitments with a family, you’ve got all this stuff, and you still have to make sure you have time for rest. And if you don’t rest your body, if you don’t give your body that physical rest that it needs, then you’re going to be just bogged down, weighed down, tired, fatigued, and you’re not going to be fresh. And so you have to give yourself that time of rest and not race 100 miles an hour 24/7 365.

Dick Hardy 9:32
You’re not a machine. You’re a human being and you’ve got to rest

Jonathan Hardy 9:35
And it’s biblical too!

#7: Remove Negative Influences

Dick Hardy 9:38
Yes, I heard that it is biblical. Number seven, remove negative influences. Now, this gets to be challenging, but that would mean some people, and I’m not saying take them out but I’m saying you know, you know those people that are on the edges of your life, or in your life that are negative. Now if they’re in your home, that’s another thing, but if you have a choice, you have the choice of friends, you keep the friends closest to you that are going to lift you, lift your mind, lift your spirit. You know, negative influence. I find our news reports. So we just ditch network news because of the negative influence that comes from network social media loaded with negative, you need to guard what you’re listening to, what you’re feeding your mind on in social media, right? And then frankly, vegging on TV or crummy reading, man, those are negative influences. Feed your mind with positive. You have a choice to do that and you know you do and while feeding on the negative can sometimes satisfy this kind of desire for the scoop and so on. It’s hurting you. It’s hurting your mental freshness. You want to be fresh? Avoid negative.


Jonathan Hardy 11:01
That’s good. Okay, let me do a quick recap real fast and we’re going to wrap up for this day. Today, we’re talking about seven things that you can do to stay mentally fresh. First is to acknowledge each day is a new day. Second, pray for wisdom for the Lord to renew your mind. Third, live without regrets. Fourth, express gratitude. Fifth, exercise your physical body. Six rests your physical body. And number seven, remove negative influences. So this is going to be super helpful for you. If you do this, then it’s going to take you to the next level, personally, professionally, your freshness, it will just radiate to others and your ability to come up with ideas vision, and the future that God has for you and for the ministry is going to be stronger because of it. Now, if you haven’t yet, I want to encourage you, one of the ways you can refresh yourself is to take the Five Day Leadership Challenge. This is a five day, 15 minute per day, free challenge you can take where you invest this 15 minutes to watch one of the videos that Dick or I put together and it’s going to help you get better as a pastor, it’s going to improve your leadership, and you’re going to be more mentally fresh as a result. And so we’re gonna encourage you to do that. Just go to Leaders.Church/challenge. And also be sure to subscribe either on YouTube, one of the podcast platforms, wherever you’re watching or listening to this, make sure to subscribe. We want to make sure we get the notifications to you when the next episodes released. And that’s all I have, anything else?

Dick Hardy 12:30
I think I’m good to go.

Jonathan Hardy 12:30
All right. Well, we’ll look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Take care and be blessed.

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