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Develop Healthy Habits Before You Preach

As a preacher and a professor of homiletics I'm slowly learning what it takes to keep preaching over time

Develop Healthy Habits Before You Preach
Image: Claudine Chaussé / Lightstock

As a preacher and a professor of homiletics I'm slowly learning to discard the superhero, messiah complex that leads to stress and burn-out in ministry. In the process of developing healthy habits to deal with the rigors of preaching I've developed a simple acronym—S.H.E.D., which stands for Sleep, Hobbies, Exercise, and Devotions.

Sleep for the mind

The hours of sleep one enjoys before midnight are the most refreshing. Early in my ministry I was a night owl. But that pattern took its toll on my body. As my responsibility increased, the earlier I had to rise in the morning just to keep up with my increasing responsibilities. No more sleeping in until 7:00 or 8:00. For a while, I was burning the candle at both ends by rising between 5:30 and 6:00, and retiring between 11:00 and midnight. Eventually, I made an attempt to be in bed between 9:00 and 10:00 at night so that I could get a good sleep before waking up around 6:00. When I maintain this sleep pattern my body feels rested, ...

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