CNLP 142: Lance Witt on What Takes Pastors Out of Ministry and How to Guard Against It

So many leaders end up leading well at work but not leading well in life and at home. How does that happen? Does doing the work of God have to corrode your soul? Carey talks with former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back.

Carey talks with a former Executive Pastor and Teaching Pastor who now leads Replenish ministries and helps leaders get their soul back.

Welcome to Episode 142 of the podcast.

Lance Witt on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Guest Links

Lance on Twitter

Replenish Ministry on Twitter

Replenish Ministry on Facebook

Replenish Ministry: Helping people live and lead from a healthy soul

Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul by Lance Witt

Links Mentioned

The High Impact Leader Course: Thank you for being part of last week’s launch! Join the waitlist to be the first to know when it’s back. Learn more at

Tony Morgan and the UnStuck Groups

Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Maybe the biggest problem facing ministry isn’t a vision problem, maybe it’s how we care for our souls. 

There’s always a reason or a season to justify why you aren’t being who you can be. But maybe it’s not about your vision or lack of ideas… maybe it’s because you’re drifting into unhealthy habits. Maybe you’re not doing things now to safeguard you from burnout later. Maybe you’re in burnout now.

It’s so tempting to make the church our life and identity. When the numbers are going up and to the right, we let the success validate us. When numbers are down, we let it tell us that we’re inadequate. When our identity is in the success of the church and not God, it changes how we lead our ministry.

You are the keeper to the stream of your soul. The path to health begins with you.

2. The statistics tell a story: Pastors are not exempt from being unhealthy.  

If you think that self-care doesn’t matter, that it’s just for a hand-full of pastors who are weak, or that it won’t ever be relevant for you… consider these jarring, but important, statistics that Lance shared:

  • 1,500 pastors walk away from ministry each month
  • 70% of pastors say that they don’t have a real, close friend
  • 50% of pastors’ wives say that their husband entering ministry was destructive to their family
  • 1 of out ever 10 ministers who start in ministry retire in ministry
  • 75% of pastors report that they either sometimes or frequently struggle with mental and emotional exhaustion
  • One third of pastors report that they engaged in an affair or one-time encounter with a parishioner

3. Self-care is not selfish, it’s good stewardship. 

You are a better leader, spouse, parent and friend when you make time for self-care.

It’s so vital to have something outside of church. Something that gives you joy and refuels your soul. Making time to enjoy your hobby or days off isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

This might mean you have to go to your elders and tell them that you need to enforce boundaries. Tell them that it’s going to be hard, but you need their help in keeping you accountable. It takes a while, but making these changes and having these conversations can change the DNA of staff life at your church.

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: David Platt

It’s easy to think the journey of leaders you admire to be easy. But that’s not always the truth. In a wide ranging interview about his time as a young mega-church pastor to his current role as President of the IMB, David Platt talks honestly and openly about his struggles as a young leader and how he overcame them.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 143.

CNLP 142: Lance Witt on What Takes Pastors Out of Ministry and How to Guard Against It

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie Muir Tyson on August 14, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    How do you train someone to NOT be a sociopath? That might have helped my xhusband dave cox

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