Brain fog, who hasn’t been there? It can affect the best of preachers. The pressures of the ministry conflict with one’s ability to think clearly and in eventually can hinder the effectiveness of the ministry. A pastor doesn’t punch a clock and return home leaving the business behind. He carries it with him twenty-four seven.
Consider the unusual role of the pastor. He is on call all the time day and night. From the moment of assuming his position there is a spiritual weight that is heavy on his heart. Consider that he is responsible for every decision of the church and for every member of the church. That is a lot of responsibility. According to the Bible he is to care for the souls of men and women. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. — 2 Corinthians 11:28. The pastor must preach three sermons every week and often teaching a Sunday School class. After an exhausting Sunday his mind immediately begins to prepare for the upcoming Wednesday service. There is no break except for special speakers or his family vacation. The pondering a pastor gives to his sermons must result in a message from God and pertinent to his members.
But the preaching is not the only aspect of the ministry. There are hospital visits, funerals, weddings, and visitation. There is church maintenance, building programs, the youth, new converts, the church calendar, and the future vision for the church. There may be unruly members as well as family or personal problems. There may be staff members to guide and certainly there will be volunteers that need training and direction. Sometimes all these responsibilities can be over whelming and result in brain fog. An illness of a family member and the pastor’s personal health can all to the stress. It can be overwhelming.
Do all of these unique challenges suggest it is impossible to lead your church or to maintain a joyful countenance? Of course not. Where God guides, He provides. Yet God uses these trials to develop leadership. The ministry can be a great experience for the pastor, his wife and his family. However, without the Lord’s help the ministry can be overwhelming. Seeking godly counsel when needed does not reveal a lack of faith or a weak character. Seeking counsel shows you are gaining wisdom. A great leader learns from his mistakes as well as the mistakes of others.
Sometimes health issues are the culprit and it is essential to get a good health checkup. The problem may a physical one. It is important to realize that God uses trials and troubles to build our faith. It is in the valley where the fertile soil can be found to grow beautiful flowers and fruit. It has been said, “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” God allows trials to deepen your walk with Him. It is when we are overwhelmed that we turn to God for help. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was given him to keep him from being proud. God’s goal is for Christ to be formed in us. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, — Galatians 4:19. Taking a brief sabbatical can help clear your mind. Even taking a day off and getting away from all the pressures of the ministry can help to recharge your spiritual batteries. Wise counsel from an experienced preacher can be a great help. If you are experiencing brain fog, you are not alone. There have been many before you and there will be many after. Slow down and seek the Lord and all the fulness of God. He will bear you through. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. — Psalms 105:4