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I need coaches in my life… a lot of them.

I currently have a marriage coach, finance coach, nutrition coach, business coach, writing coach, parenting coach, strength-training coach, and I look to my pastor as my spiritual coach.

Do I pay for all of them? No, but for some I do.

Why? I can’t trust myself. What? You heard me. I am a notorious self-sabotage and famous for self-deconstructing.

It’s ok. I know down deep I was built for community. I need others because iron sharpens iron. I need coaches.

Recently I read The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster and Darren Hardy said,

“The greatest athletes in the world hire the most expensive coaches, consultants, and advisors. The greatest companies do the same, CEO’s and celebrities, too. Why? Because they know that investing in themselves is what got them to where they are, and they know they need to keep doing it to grow and stay at the top of their game.”

I actually just got done paying nearly $1000 to go through a 12-month course called Start Up Camp. I signed a commitment letter and mailed it to Dale Partridge when I first started. I watched every coaching video, took detailed notes, printed off every document, showed up for a few monthly QnA’s, engaged in the private Facebook group, and about to take a 100 question exam to become a graduate.

The #1 thing I learned was that, I don’t need to do everything in my business, but I need to know about everything that’s going on in my business.

It was the best professional and personal development decision I’ve made in a long time, maybe ever.

Here’s five reasons why hiring a coach is worth it. I’m stealing these from Justin Wise but they hold true to my experiences as well.

A good coach…

1. Is a Shortcut to Success

I don’t like making mistakes and believe me I’ve made a ton from leading student ministries, planting a church, starting a triathlon chaplaincy, and several years ago birthing Fit Pastors. I remember hearing Dale Partridge say,

“One hour with me will save you a year.”

Wow. I thought that’s kind of cocky. It was true. I only wish I’d taken the course two years ago.  It has given me a confidence now in coaching pastors that I can save them a year of the vicious cycle in one hour with a new perspective and mindset.

2. Can See Your Blind Spots

So many pastors come to me feeling stuck in their health. Do you know what I see in so many including myself? They want overnight success. They want to plant healthy seeds, skip cultivating, and go right onto harvest. It takes a long time to put on a lot of weight, and guess what? It takes even longer to lose it.

3. Will Hold You Accountable

When I sent that letter to Dale along with hundreds of other entrepreneurs I committed on the dotted line. I will probably never meet Dale and he probably doesn’t even know who I am, but I know me. I committed and I wanted to finish. I’m accountable to the community of campers within Start Up Camp.

4. Will Keep You Humble

I don’t like asking for help who does? I have to swallow a really big glass of pride every single time I reach out. I know though that the Lord gives grace to the humble.

5. Will Expand Your Network

The best part about getting a coach is you get access to their community. This is what I love about Fit Pastors so much. You get to be a part of a tribe of pastors, missionaries, and church planters all on mission to get and stay healthy. You get to hang out with other pastors!

So pastors and leaders who are you allowing to coach you – to ask you the tough questions on a regular basis? In what areas of your life do you need coaches?  The New Year is just a few days away isn’t it time to secure a coach to finally conquer your health?

Check out my spiritual coach and pastor Scott Wilson in this interview as he reached out to Fit Pastors to get health coaching. Skip to the final 5 minutes and listen to what he says about gulping pride.



If you’re interested in grabbing a spot in an upcoming huddle, gain access to the Fit Pastors Academy course, and have your own personal coach click here.

This article was part three of a series called “Pastors Need Health Coaches”.  Click here to read part one and click here to read part two.

I leave you with this quote from the book Next Generational Leader,

It is impossible to maximize your potential in any area without coaching. You may be good. You may be even better than everyone else, but without outside input you will never be as good as you could be. To be the best next generation leader you can be, you must enlist the help of others. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach”. Andy Stanley



This image was first used from NY Magazine


Hi my name is Ricky and I am an alcoholic, just kidding. I’m actually a sugarholic, but that’s for another time.  Actually since today is Christmas I might have to partake just a little.

Seriously though, you’ve probably heard someone mention that comment before. Why? It’s notorious for “AA”.

In 1935 a New York stockbroker named Bill and a surgeon named Bob catapulted the seed in Akron, Ohio for the largest, most well-known, and successful habit-changing organization in the world… Alcoholics Anonymous or “AA”.

AA doesn’t work for everyone—success rates are difficult to measure, because of participants’ anonymity—but millions credit the program with saving their lives.

AA’s foundational credo, the famous twelve steps, have become cultural lodestones incorporated into treatment programs for overeating, gambling, debt, sex, drugs, hoarding, self-mutilation, smoking, video game addictions, emotional dependency, and dozens of other destructive behaviors.

The group’s techniques offer, in many respects, one of the most powerful formulas for change.

Alcoholism, of course, is more than a habit. It’s a physical addiction with psychological and perhaps genetic roots. AA meetings don’t have a prescribed schedule or curriculum. Rather, they usually begin with a member telling his or her story, after which other people can chime in.

Do you know what the secret sauce is to Alcoholics Anonymous? Do you want to know why it is so effective?

1. The twelve steps
2. A support network
3. A sponsor or “coach”

The greatest reason is that every alcoholic has a coach that knows when they don’t show up for a meeting.

FACT: Pastors need other pastors to help them.

Let me ask you something. If you are a pastor what do you do when someone in your church is drowning in debt or in a marriage conflict and comes to you needing help?

You might counsel them right? Give them a word of encouragement? Toss out a little prayer? You can’t do that for every single sheep though right? So what’s the solution? I would venture to say pointing them to a support network or what we call in the church world “small groups”.

So lets get back to you. Are you struggling in your health? Have you tried and failed over and over and can’t seem to find a way out?

It is time to practice what you preach pastor.

Listen to this interview with my pastor friend Brian Pounds that gulped some pride and joined Fit Pastors. Skip to the 15-minute mark and listen closely you might hear yourself.


In his book, Dangerous Calling, Paul David Tripp says this,

“Ministry is a war between the private and public divide. Doesn’t every member of the body of Christ need the ministry of the body of Christ, including the pastor?

Pastor, are you in a small group? One that you don’t lead? Do you let others minister to you? Do you have spiritual mentors? Does your church provide the means for care, refreshment, and counseling for you? Pastors need to be in community. They need the ministry of the body just as much as they needed to minister to the rest of it.”

Recently I heard these words from my friend Earl Creps,

“The greatest need for pastors today is affirmation and encouragement.”

Isn’t it time you find a tribe where you can take off your pastor hat and just be you? You know…. the imperfect you? The human you that struggles just like anyone else?  Give yourself the gift of health this Christmas!

Shepherds aren’t perfect either. We all need a coach.

I’ve even heard it said that family members of alcoholics will send texts at 10pm at night asking, “Hey where are you? Are you at home? Are you ok?”

If you’d like to find your supportive network, your personal coach, and join a tribe that cares that much about you click here. There’s room for you.

If you missed part one of this series on “Pastors Need Health Coaches” go here to read part one.

I leave you with these words from Marcus Aurelius,

“Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what?”

On August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China Michael Phelps won the 200 butterfly for another medal. Big deal right? If you know anything about the Olympics, swimming, and Phelps it was expected.

He did it blind because his goggles were completely filled with water. Yes, he swam lengths of the pool without being able to see and won.

How?  Visualization, deliberate practice, and the genius of his coach Bob Bowman.

Michael Phelps had started swimming when he was seven years old to burn off some of the energy that was driving his mom and teachers crazy. He was very emotional, had problems coping with stress due to parents divorce, and had trouble calming down before races.

Enter Coach Bob Bowman. He purchased a book of relaxation exercises and asked Phelps’s mom to read them aloud every night. The book contained a script—“Tighten your right hand into a fist and release it. Imagine the tension melting away”—that tensed and relaxed each part of Phelps’s body before he fell asleep. Bowman believed that for swimmers, the key to victory was creating the right routines.

Bowman could also see that Phelps, even at a young age, had a capacity for obsessiveness that made him an ideal athlete. Then again, all elite performers are obsessives.

All he needed to do was target a few specific habits that had nothing to do with swimming and everything to do with creating the right mind-set. He designed a series of behaviors that Phelps could use to become calm and focused before each race, to find those tiny advantages that, in a sport where victory can come in milliseconds, would make all the difference.

When Phelps was a teenager, for instance, at the end of each practice, Bowman would tell him to go home and “watch the videotape. Watch it before you go to sleep and when you wake up. The videotape wasn’t real. Rather, it was a mental visualization of the perfect race.

During practices, when Bowman ordered Phelps to swim at race speed, he would shout, “Put in the videotape!

Eventually, all Bowman had to do before a race was whisper, “Get the videotape ready”.

On that day in Beijing the leaking goggles were a minor deviation, but one for which Phelps was prepared. Bowman had once made Phelps swim in a Michigan pool in the dark, believing that he needed to be ready for any surprise.

The genius, wisdom, deliberate practice, and direction of a coach caused a confused, stressed, highly emotional little boy to grow up into the most heroic Olympic athlete this world has ever seen.

What if you as a pastor could reach the greatest potential possible but you’re lacking one thing….. a coach?

According to Raymond Gleason, there’s


 1.  Define your current reality by helping you consider – What is my present situation? Where am I headed?

2.  Clarify your vision and goals.

  • Many people continually react to their current reality rather than living and working with purpose. A coach first leads you to define what success looks like so you can set goals toward achieving it.

3.  Identify roadblocks to your vision.

  • This requires that you acknowledge and address areas of comfort and familiarity that are commonly overlooked as barriers to your success.

4.  Test your thinking, opinions, conclusions, and behavior.

  • It’s easy to get stuck in a rut – doing the same things and thinking the same way while expecting different results.

5.  Establish accountability by helping you evaluate – Am I making progress? Am I growing? Am I accomplishing my vision?

  • Many get off track because they confuse intent or busyness with progress. A coach helps you accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

These are reasons why I became a health coach and why we’ve trained nearly 20 others to coach pastors in their health.

So how about you? Are you reaching your full potential as a pastor? Do you have the adequate energy level to fulfill your calling day in and day out? Are you dealing with emotional baggage or stress that is holding you back?

Watch this interview with my friend Mark Entzminger, Senior Director of Children’s Ministries for the Assemblies of God, who reached out and hired a health coach. In the last 10 minutes he shares openly what Fit Pastors did for him and how it could benefit you.

If you’re interested in grabbing a spot in our winter season of coaching huddles click here. The price of admission gets you your own personal coach.

* The excerpts about the Michael Phelps story is from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg



This is me.  I wish.  It is my mindset for 2016.


Six months ago I watched this Ted Talk by Brene Brown and it rocked my world.

She basically challenged me to be willing to get naked, per say, and walk into the stadium where all my friends, family, supporters, and lurkers are sitting and put myself out there. Here’s a quote,

“If we want to be courageous and we want to be in the arena, we’re going to get our butts kicked,” she says. “There is no option. If you want to be brave and show up in your life, you’re going to fail. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to fall. It’s part of showing up.” Brene Brown

Thank you Brene Brown.  It goes so much further then her, it is the driving force of my life to be led of the Holy Spirit.  I’m about to get more transparent and vulnerable than I ever have in my life, but will also dare more than I ever have before.

“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly …” President Theodore Roosevelt

Many changes coming in 2016. Why?

I’m on a crusade to not only help pastors, but anyone that stumbles upon this website that struggles with emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual health. To me it is all wrapped holistically. I see the struggles, I hear the voices, I get the emails, I get the texts, and I my heart longs to fulfill my assignment to help.

Moving Forward into 2016

I will be learning, researching, reading, listening, watching, interviewing, gathering, and coaching. I will sift through the piles, clear through confusion, dig into scripture, and pray about how I can then be an instrument and a mouthpiece.

I know pastors don’t have time to read tons of books on health, so I will to save them time and create book summaries.

I will do my best to write two articles a week in 2016 on Tuesdays and Fridays majoring in physical, mental, and emotional health. Within that I will focus on minors, pastoral pain points if you will, that get in the way such as: stress, depression, willpower,consistency, and productivity.

My aim is to not just learn and write about all of this. My focus will be to also experiment in my own life which will bring successes and failures in my own pursuit of health. Perhaps you can avoid my mistakes and learn about my own health philosophy…. the tortoise effect.  You will be able to subscribe via email and opt-in to follow my own journey of health.

I will do my best to post workouts and meals on my Twitter page and Instagram. My personal Facebook profile will transition into a Fan Page so that I can draw a line in the social media sand and not clutter my personal profile with just health stuff.

This website will be getting a new face lift soon, hoping by the start of 2016, and I invite you on the journey with me.

The signature online course Fit Pastors Academy will be completely revised and redone with the new knowledge and lessons learned to create a far premier quality product to focus more on habit formation and lifestyle change.

Once again I will do my best with the greatest of intentions to be of service to you. I don’t want to waste your time or be an annoyance in your inbox.

Please give me grace as I embark to write twice a week and become far more public with my own health journey.

Because I’m perfection? Far from it. Only an instrument that has a heart to come alongside you and encourage you and let you know you’re not alone.

So. I invite you on this epic journey with me and many others to be on a daily pursuit of health so that we can fulfill our assignment on planet earth with as much energy, credibility, confidence, and longevity as possible.

What about you?  Is their something you’ve been holding back?  Has the Lord asked something of you but you are afraid?  Afraid to be vulnerable?  Afraid to get naked in the arena of life?

2016.  Make it your year!  Lets do this together!




Recently, researchers from University College London compiled data on the relationship between working hours and heart attack risk in over 600,000 workers, as well as similar data on stroke risk in over 500,000 workers. They found that those who worked more than 55 hours per week had a 13% greater risk of a heart attack, and were 33% more likely to suffer a stroke, compared with those who worked 35-40 hours per week.


Honestly, when I read those stats it was a wake-up call to me. So much so that I unplugged from technology for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Why?

I’ve been pushing a pace well beyond 55 hours a week on an endless pursuit to search for validation from others and my heavenly Father. It was day four of our getaway, as I was listening to worship music, I stumbled upon a random tire pictured below.


I immediately heard the words,

“Ricky, my son, you’ve been concentrating so much on your fuel, move, and lift tires that your rest tire is completely flat. In fact… it has a gaping hole in it. Today, I want that to change in your life.”

I sat down on a log beside the water and journaled the two pages below.  My handwriting suffered on this day.  I blame it on the wind.

Rest 1

Rest 2

The Lord has continued to confirm those words in my early morning devotional time. On December 10 I read these words,

“Finally, the earth is at REST and QUIET.” Isaiah 14:7 NLT
“In that wonderful day when the Lord gives his people REST from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains.” Isaiah 14:5 NLT
“Worry weighs a person down.” Proverbs 12:25 NLT

I was reminded that God told his son, Jesus, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” He spoke those words before Jesus did one act of ministry. Let that sink in.


I love the mantra Rick Warren uses to find his own rest. What is it?

Divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually.

For me practically:

  • I plan on being very intentional during my 52 Sabbath’s this year by escaping away for an extended time with the Lord and getting in nature.
  • I plan on scheduling a monthly retreat day and four quarterly solitude retreats
  • I have already scheduled in my 2016 calendar multiple family vacations and family camping trips

Can I ask you something? Do you feel like you are pleasing the Lord? Do you know what would please him more than anything right now?

Be secure in knowing that you can take your foot off the pedal and rest. It’s OK. Remember, unless he builds the house the labors labor in vain anyway.


  • if you’re a parent maybe you can tag team with your spouse and escape away for a few hours
  • if you’re an entrepreneur pencil in an entire morning to unplug, go on a nature hike, or take a nap
  • if you’re a pastor take out your calendar and schedule your 2016 vacations
  • if you’re a missionary schedule a block of time to do absolutely nothing and just breathe knowing the Lord is in control of your finances.

Do me a favor huh? Comment on this article to commit to action what you will do to find rest before the end of this week or email me back I’d love to hear about what you do!

I leave you with these lyrics from a song called “My Grace” from the album Future Bright & Free.

“I’ve seen your weakness and I am powerful. I’ve seen your failures and I am merciful. I’ve seen your heaviness and I will give you REST. I’ve seen your loneliness and I am with you. My grace my grace is yours.”E My Grace, Album Future Bright & Free

*Thank you to John Ross M.D. for writing this article that originally woke me up from my slumber and where I got the research.