Priorities in Check

God-Given Purpose First

Mental health affects spiritual health. If pastors aren't in a good place spiritually, their minds can become unhealthy. In this post, produced in cooperation with the Association of Biblical Counselors, Afshin Ziafat, Lead Pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, talks to pastors about how to maintain a healthy mind. He connects mental health to spiritual priorities—if a pastor values the church over God and family, depression and stress can easily settle in. Afshin reminds pastors of their God-given purpose to challenge them to have good mental health. 

Afshin said he finds that unhealthy depression or stress often points to unhealthy priorities. He can tend to puts his gifted purpose as pastor of his church before his relationship with God. Our God-given purpose to love and know God comes first—even before our family or ministry. 

How did Afshin describe your God-given purpose? What would you say is your gifted purpose? Have you been tempted to put your gifted purpose over your God-given purpose? If so, how did you resist or reprioritize? If not, how do you maintain a balance between the two?
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Can you relate to Afshin's struggle with priorities? If so, how have misaligned priorities affected you, your family, and your ministry? If not, how might your priorities impact your life and in your church?
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In times of stress or depression, how do you cope as a pastor? Who can you process with or lean on? What practices or disciplines have you developed?
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Take a hard look at your priorities. If they seem out of whack, what practical steps could you take this week to reprioritize your life? If you feel comfortable with your priorities, how could you encourage other pastors to follow after their God-given purpose this week?
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 As a pastor, you are not exempt from needing mental health care. Spend time in prayer about your priorities this week. Ask God to convict you and equip you to cherish your relationship with Him above all else. If you're in middle of unshakable depression, seek help. Allow God to heal and restore you. 

To learn more about The Association of Biblical Counselors, click here.