Pastors!--Shape Up or Ship Out!

(Disclaimer: I am writing this note to fellow pastors, but also to remind myself where I've come from and where I don't want to return to)

Pastors! Shape up or ship out! That's how I feel today after talking to an insurance rep today who said "Pastors are some of the most out of shape people--and other pastors are paying for it"

Obesity in the ministry has risen to new heights. Just take a look at a religious paper or magazine and you'll see people who are overweight, out of shape and headed for physical ruin.

I write this note because I'm pointing fingers, but because I was one of them. This time last year I was sporting some 50 pounds of blubber, heavier and out of breath. By God's grace I've been able to overcome that and now feel better about myself, my ministry and my future. All I'm saying is if I can do it you can do it too.

Here are some steps to take:
1. Determine that you are going to change. You have the Holy Spirit to help you! Ask for the Lord's help.
2. Make a plan--join weight watchers, write down you food intake in a journal, log into an exercise website to keep you accountable ( I use
3. Make some goals--start small and attainable. Make them measurable and able to be accomplished. Little goals add up to larger goals.
4. Announce your plans to a group--they'll keep you accountable.
5. Make it part of your discipline--you do it spiritually, why not do it physically!
6. Exercise--walk (everyone can walk) and then build up to something you love to do ( I love to run!)

Most of the cost of insurance for ministers doesn't go to help the healthy, it goes to those who have yet to claim their part in their health by keeping their body presentable to God's service. I read today that ministers may not struggle with earthly things, but they may substitute food for those other earthly lusts which so easily entangle. Food can become an addiction if we're not careful.

So, pastors (all pastors) Shape up! Your congregation will love you for it and we'll all benefit from healthier pastors.