Central District NextGen coordinator, Tami Jones, shares encouragement and resources for NextGen pastors and leaders.

In the midst of the summer months, many NextGen pastors and leaders find themselves busy with camps, mission trips, VBS, and internships. There are moments when we may feel extremely stretched and as if we are only holding on by a thread of prayer. “Oh, we are halfway there…OOH, we’re living on a prayer.” ~ Bon Jovi

We do not want that to be the rhythm or anthem of your life.

As a NextGen leader, it’s essential to prioritize your wellness. Take some time to reflect on it. Are you spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy? As servant leaders, we often prioritize helping others over our own needs, but it’s important to remember that God wants us to be whole and thriving too. Engaging in this behavior depletes our energy and prevents us from serving others well. We can only lead with integrity out of what we’ve first received.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2 ESV

I came across an article by Dr. Catherine Hart Weber, which highlights twelve situations that a Christian leader should assess to maintain a healthy personal life. Below is a brief overview, and I urge you to take some time to reflect over these points.

  1. Pray: Healthy Christian leaders pursue a relationship with God, seeking to understand who God is and how to enjoy the life-changing presence of God.
  2. Thrive: Consider assessing how intentional you are in living a balanced lifestyle By eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep and rest. Getting regular health checkups – for all areas of your life. Are you not feeling well or unbalanced in any area of your life? What habits or lifestyle rhythms can you change to improve your overall well-being?
  3. Love: Healthy Christian leaders nurture meaningful relationship connections with others. They aim to understand, “Who are you, and how can I effectively relate to you?”
  4. Play: Healthy Christian leaders have a restorative niche and know how to play. This is my favorite lifestyle rhythm to talk about because of the new area of exciting research that promises profound benefits that, unfortunately, only 1 in 4 pastors report engaging in.
  5. REST! Prioritize Sabbath and SLOW DOWN!

As we lean into health in all areas of our lives, I want to suggest some resources for you as a NextGen leader:

Pastoral Care Groups

You were not meant to go through life and leadership alone! Connect with others that are also in your area in ministry and build meaningful relationships and friendships. These peer groups are meant to help foster relationships that will take you further in ministry.

Find out more about Pastoral Care Groups

LPU Online Certificate in Biblical Foundations 

Good leaders are life-long learners. Life Pacific University offers an affordable online certificate program for ministry leaders to improve their teaching abilities. The program offers a Certificate in Inductive Bible Study, which can be completed individually or as a group at your own pace. Invest in yourself!

Learn more

Book Recommendations 

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton

As spiritual leaders, we must keep tabs on our souls. Ruth Haley Barton shares about the life of Moses and how we can learn to build endurance and set a sustainable pace for our leadership life.


The Way of the Heart by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Henri Nouwen shares the impact of the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude on the life of the believer. Within this one small book lies the most relevant and inspiring challenge that we shall ever face: to surrender the compulsive noise of the world for the way of the heart that leads us to God.


The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

How do we slow down in a culture that only knows how to hurry to the next thing? John Mark Comer makes the case that hurry is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life and offers a different roadmap to staying emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world.


I leave you with the assurance of God’s love and care for you. As it is written in Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV), “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” You are cherished and deeply valued by the Almighty God who desires abundant life for you. May this truth resonate in your hearts as you minister to kids and youth. Know that I am praying for each one of you during this season, seeking God’s blessings and guidance in all that you do.

of The Foursquare Church