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« "A Thousand Splendid Suns" | Main | C.R.A.P: What is This World Coming To? »

March 04, 2008



Paul says, "follow me as I follow Christ." I have a hard time with any leader who says don't do as I do. I am not asking anyone to be perfect - if you preach/teach it then you are accountable for the message to bear fruit in your own life. If you are not taking care of God's temple, then you are saying God is asking you to do the impossible and what kind of God does that make Him? You don't have time to take care of His temple? What if someone tells you they don't have time to read the Word or to pray? What would you answer them. Thank you for this post that addresses a "hot" issue.

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It is not easy to convince people who want to lose weight to eat more fat. But i think everyone should have the discipline in our body.

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when you NEED it in order to function, that's a problem as far as I am concerned. Ah, but is it a SIN?

Mike Harrison

My wife is specializing in helping pastors lose weight, feel great, and live their dreams. If you struggle with weight, like I did, I encourage you to contact It can make a difference.

Jim Vellenga

As someone who has struggled with excess weight most of my life and who is also a pastor, I have to say while in some way I agree with your words, at the same time I disagree. Stephen above hit it well. My weight struggles have only gotten worse as a pastor because of the nature of the job. 1) It is very time intensive, people are not ministered to 9-5. 2) Much of that ministry time, not to mention the hours in study for sermons, two a week for me, bible studies, and other classes that are taught are not active times physically, although they are draining mentally, emotionally and spiritually 3) Try visiting people, in particular elderly people such as widows without being served cookies, cake, and a whole host of other unhealthy food. Add these together and it leads to a calling that is not particularly conducive to weight control even if one eats healthily. If one is already predisposed to gaining weight easily, suddenly you are into a situation where it is not simply a matter of not being a glutton but of having to work against the very things that are part of your task. I do not write this to say gluttony is excusable, but to point out that if your measure of a pastor is only based on weight when so many things can and do contribute to excess weight beyond eating too much, then there is something wrong with that criteria of evaluation.


I think maybe we should comment about how churches serve coffee too and how people think it's normal to "need my first cup before I can function."

Caffeine is a DRUG, period. It is addictive, like any other substance. Why not target that along with the weight issues? Truth is, everyone knows someone or drinks the stuff themselves, but when you NEED it in order to function, that's a problem as far as I am concerned. Ah, but is it a SIN?


Looked at my last comment and I didn't mean to sound harsh, so don't take it the wrong way! Just my opinion and as young people I know I am learning that I can learn to say things with wisdom and many more will receive them rather than just blasting the truth!
be blessed!



You have some valid points, but I would agree with many on here who say that someone who "looks" overweight is not necessarily out of shape. As a thin pastor myself of 32 years old I know that just because I'm not gaining weight does not mean I'm taking care of my body and vice versa.
It's a pretty broad statement, although, I do agree that gluttony is an overlooked sin nowadays in our excessive society. I would just be careful! The way you present it shows you are a young man with an immature view-if that's how you want it to come off, then fine, but as a young leader myself I refuse to act and speak out of immaturity but must speak with the wisdom from heaven that God promises.


I agree with you for the most part, and for 99% of the cases, you're totally right, but there are a few things can cause someone to be overweight like different illnesses. I know thryoid problems can cause people to gain a lot of weih quickly, and if you're taking steriods(the kind that doctors prescribe), then you're likely to gain weight. But for the most part, I agree. They definitely should be takin better care of their bodies.

James Flanders

I loved the post!

I am a pastor who is attempting to not only reach pastors, but Christians in general who are really doing a rotten job of caring for their earth suit.

Thanks for saying what few people have the courage to say!

Be blessed man!
James Flanders


great point!

I've thought the same thing for years

it's hard for me.. someone who is in good shape.. to respect a lazy fat person


It is so interesting that we focus on the outward. Should a pastor not preach against any of these habits or abuses until his is perfect? We would never preach the Gospel. Yes, we all need to look at areas where we maybe lacking obediance to the Lord. What about the pastor who is dealing with other eating disorders? Will you be as firm in your convictions if they are body consumed?


I can understand having a problem with it if someone's being overweight has to due with their lack of excerice and excessive eating, but I think it's important to remember that not everyone who is overweight is that way by choice.

My best friend has struggled with her weight for years. Yet she is one of the healthiest people I know. At the gym five times a week and eats great. Yet many times she's been judged as been lazy or an overeater, just because of her size.

Healthy eating and exercise is very important, but it can't always be linked with weight. We know now more than ever that there are many health problems out there that make it difficult for people to lose weight. And way too often people are quick to put all overweight people in the same boat.

I'm not saying that's what you are doing here. I'm just saying that we need to be very cautious and considerate when talking about a subject like this, especially if we've never struggled with it.


Alright... I realize I'm a few days late to the party, but I'll jump into this one from a devil's advocate perspective. Does this mean, Jer, that you didn't not have respect for me as a pastor due to my weight issues? Has your respect for me not as a person, but simply as a pastor gone up now that I've lost 100lbs? What about if I still have a bit more to lose? While I understand the thought that "I don't have time" is an excuse, that only goes so far. I wrestle every day with my time priorities as a pastor. Am I supposed to go to the gym, or meet the kid who needs to talk? Do I go to the gym or have a night with my wife? Is "gym" time work time, or is it out of work time? Should my exorbitant pastoral salary pay for my gym membership or should the church?

And we haven't even touched this... how do you know whether or not the weight of said individual is health related or not? I went through my entire high school gaining weight by the fistful due to drugs associated to a medical issue. I LOOKED perfectly fine, but couldn't even tie my shoes or bend over. If I'm never able to lose that weight, does it make me less of a pastor? Yes, I believe there is an aspect of practice what you preach, and we too easily gloss over the sin of glutony, but can we paint with such a wide brush? Obesity is an obvious issue... pornography and infidelity not so much.

And then of course, does this not apply to all walks of life? How many musicians get on stage and talk about how Jesus is calling us to care for the disenfranchised, and the poor and sick, and then get in the fancy car and drive to their big house (granted, not as many in christian music as secular, but you get my point:) and live in excess?

While I understand the heart of what you are saying dear brother,and agree with you, I don't think it's that simple. And as a former fat man who struggled mightily with it, and wrestled hugely with issues of self worth and image as a result, I think those who maybe aren't the same boat will need to be gentle and caring in the way they approach it. Not all of us are going to have a passion for the gym and running like you :)

Love ya dude!

the little brother


Wow, Jeremy. Incredibly insightful! Delivered with grace, sincerity, and integrity. Speak on.

Miss Maria D.

These blogs of yours actually always make me think which is nicer than usual blogs which just make you roll your eyes a bit

Mark Jaffrey

Great. Thanks a bunch Jeremy, just what I need right now, another dose of conviction. It doesn't help that I was tucking into a handful of chocolate covered peanuts while catching up on my blog feeds :-)

Hope you're doing well mate.


Dude. I was just talking about this with Ted the other day. It really does make me cringe when I see pastors preaching to people about alcohol, drugs, etc but are a walking heart attack. I would guess that diabetes and heart disease kill many more each year than alcohol or drug abuse. You're right on the mark. The good news is there seems to be a trend among younger pastors to correct this.

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