Ministry and Anxiety


For the past few years I have struggled with something that is hard to talk about outside of a very tight close few friends. Anxiety and mild depression. Having grown up in church and being a part of ministry since I was very young–18-years-old. You learn that it’s one of those taboo topics that is hard to talk about. It’s hard because as a pastor you’re supposed to know the answer. And, not just know the answer, but live it out perfectly or risk the judgmental police.

I know all the anxiety verses. I can quote them in my sleep. I provide pastoral guidance for countless people and use those same verses. I really do believe them too. However, what do you do when you find yourself sleeping only a few hours a night? My anxiety comes from unfinished work. I see the imperfection in everything. I know I can and should do better. I see the mountain of “work” ahead of me and it consumes my thoughts. There’s one more parent who needs help. One more child who needs Jesus. One more resource that can be created. My brain doesn’t turn off. On top of that I fear missed potential. At the end of the day I want to leave it all on the floor. I want to walk through the right doors, make the biggest impact and do everything I can do fulfill the calling I feel on my life. My smile isn’t fake when I’m in public–it’s real. I’m not trying to pretend to be someone I’m not. I just can’t turn off.

My biggest hope is to inspire the conversation. Topics like this for ministers shouldn’t be taboo. They shouldn’t be tough to talk about. Probably the best thing that happened to me was finding a couple of great ministry friends who I found out struggle with the same thing. It was great to know that I wasn’t crazy. I also realized more ministers than I initially realize struggle with similar things. I think it comes from passion and being driven–maybe too driven. Whatever the case, you’re not alone.

I’d love to hear from you if this sounds familiar or if you struggle with something similar. We got this!



  1. Justyn this is me!! Sometimes I can’t “Turn Off”. I try to do too much every day. When I find myself in those situations, I end up being, OK at a lot of things and great at nothing. It comes down to Focus & Calling. Achieving Greatness doesn’t come from adding more and more to my day. It comes from removing mor e and more to let others do, so I can Focus on God’s Calling on my life.

  2. I appreciate you writing this post. It’s so easy for anxiety to creep in when you love what you do and know the importance of the job (bringing kids to the Lord). It makes the anxious perfectionist inside come alive for sure. I feel you.

  3. The struggle is real. Most Saturday nights are full of anxiety and little sleep for me. Thanks for your post and for sharing. I can relate. Cue the High School Musical song, “We’re All In This Together!” #WeGotThis

  4. What a great read! It’s refreshing to hear/read someone right about something so real and relevant while being transparent. I was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD in high school and the meds that I take can cause a rise in anxious feelings. I already am prone to be anxious but add in the self imposed pressure of exciting ministry well and it cranks that anxiety up to 10. Thanks for sharing some of your story and how you have found best helps deal with anxiety and depression.

  5. Thank you, Justyn. I’ve struggled with depression for the past few years and felt like a horrible failure when I decided to take the step to go on antidepressants. When the chronic pain is been struggling with went away I realized the depression was much more than a psychological issue. Would I rather not take meds? Absolutely. But, until my healing is complete, I thank God for His provision.

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