Resilience is the
strong ability to cope during times of depravation,
adversity, or stress. Resilience is the ability to get
through the high stress periods of change and come out
on the other side with a strong sense of well-being.
Before you get to the point of tying a knot at the end
of your rope, identify and work on the following
characteristics of resilience.
of thought and action, without fear or reluctance to
rely on others. When you are doing right in
God's eyesnot your own or others', you should have an
independence surpassing all else. In 2 Timothy 1:7, note
that God does not give a spirit of fear.
ability to give and take in one's interaction with
others. You live in a world with others. You
work with others. Look at the model of Jesus. He was
around people in many informal situations.
network of friends, including one or more confidants.
These need not be many. A few good friends can mean much
to your stress level. Just knowing they are there to
talk with you, to discuss your difficulties, may provide
just the support you need.
A high level of
personal discipline and sense of responsibility.
Commit yourself to read the Bible every day. Read in the
Psalms. Read Romans. Read and reread Scriptures of
encouragement, for example Psalm 37 and Jeremiah 29,
especially verse 11.
development of special gifts and talents.
Reidentify one of your spiritual gifts. Write down how
that gift helps your present place of ministry. What
would happen if you developed that gift more fully?
A willingness to dream. Slow down long
enough to dream. Look out the window. Go for a walk and
imagine new ways. Dream of something that has absolutely
nothing to do with a current program or ministry where
A wide range of interests.
The sheer accomplishment of even a small task helps
boost your spirits. So whether it's gardening, fishing,
collecting, woodworking, hiking, drawing, sketching, or
any other type of hobby, take time to enjoy it. It will
be good for you and others.
one's own feelings and those of others and the ability
to communicate feelings appropriately. Learn
to deal with four general emotions. "To deal with" does
not mean to hide or suppress, rather learn to express
these emotions appropriately. The emotions are glad,
sad, mad, and scared. (See 35. "How to Nurture Emotional
Well-being" for more on these four emotions.)
Focus, a commitment to life, and a philosophical
framework. Maintaining your focus within
personal experiences can help you interpret life with
meaning and hope, even at life's seemingly hopeless
moments. As a minister, what is your commitment to life?
What is the philosophy from which you work? If you
grasp, really know, your own commitment and philosophy,
you will be steps ahead when you must make difficult
decisions. Maintaining your focus will help you through
times when hope is distant.
Take time to
write down your commitment. Complete each of the
following in the order presented:
commitment to God is
2. My commitment to my family
3. My commitment to my work is
Tommy Yessick, Minister's Wellness, Recreation and
Sports Ministry Specialist, Ministry Team Leadership
Department, LifeWay Church Resources, Nashville,