“Stretch out your left arm. Make a fist. Hold still while I insert the needle.” The nurse filled two vials with my blood and said the doctor would contact me in two days and give me the test results. Just the other day I had my annual physical exam. Before the blood test I had already completed a two-page questionnaire, answered a battery of questions in the examination room, but now it was time to look deeper. The blood test revealed what could not be seen on the outside. A more in-depth look was necessary.
As pastors we look good on the outside, we sound fine, and are faithfully performing our ministry responsibilities, but I wonder if it might be time for a deeper look.
The inner life of the pastor is not on display. We’ve learned the right etiquette for ministry. We developed leadership tools and communication skills. We know how to conduct ourselves in public.
My doctor was not content to say “you look healthy to me. See you next year.” No, he knew the accurate assessment of my physical health was to take a look at what was happening on the inside.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a simple test to determine a pastor’s spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational health. But there is something you can do. You can take a deep, hard, and honest look at yourself.
Some interesting phrases pop up from the pages of Scripture that inspire this closer look at ourselves. The Bible instructs us to “examine and test yourselves.” We see the prayers of “search me and know me.”
Can I ask you a question pastor? How are you really doing?
As we come near the end of this year, let’s ask ourselves some personal evaluation questions. I have listed 30 questions in five categories, but the accurate assessment of your health might only require two or three questions.
Relationship with God
Relationship to self
Relationship with family
Relationship with the ministry
Relationship with leadership
Honesty is necessary for self-assessment and improvement. Like it or not, the mirror tells you the truth every time you look at it. It’s my prayer these questions will serve as a mirror to help us be healthier and more effective pastors…and people.
Hi! I'm Loren Hicks. I am follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, a friend, and for the past