Lutheran Church Extension Fund
A Wellness Plan Is Congregational

A Wellness Plan Is Congregational

Chicken? Egg? It’s the chicken.

We know there’s a connection between healthy congregations and healthy church workers. Healthy leaders lead healthy congregations. Healthy congregations foster healthy leaders.

Healthy leaders come first.

I’m fortunate to come across many congregations that create an environment for ministry where ministers flourish. I’ve served at churches like that.

I’m saddened that the default mode seems to be an environment detrimental to church worker wellness.

Sin, self-centeredness, and lack of mission fervor combine to cause churches to degenerate into conflict and hyper-criticism; poison for healthy servants. Churches don’t begin that way. It’s spiritual warfare.

It takes a healthy leader to help the congregation find their way to a new way.

And to help them stay on the right path.

Healthy churches love Jesus more than anything else. Healthy churches eagerly seek formation by God’s Word and worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.

Healthy congregations negotiate reasonable expectations for their workers; put family life first for called servants and for members; compensate well; offer responsive and helpful feedback; listen well; try new things, fail graciously, forgive generously, and try again.

If you serve a church like that, take care of yourself so that you can help keep the family of faith in that great place.

Recognize what a gift you’ve been given. Model wellness for the church. Point out their healthy practices that are making a difference and show them your appreciation.


If you are not called to a church that exhibits those healthy traits, you’ll need to be at your best, to guard yourself from destructive forces, in order to lead them there.

That may be why God has placed you there.

Self-care is not selfish. You put your own oxygen mask on first for the sake of those traveling with you.

They need you at your best.

Which comes first, healthy churches or healthy servant leaders? In some circumstances, it’s a healthy church that helps ministers learn to better care for themselves and their families.

Most often, however, ministers are called to help churches discover God’s design for joyful lives of worship, nurture, growth and fellowship.

As you develop your plan for wellness, keep in mind that it’s always for the sake of the body of Christ.

Take care of yourself; keep the congregation in mind always.

Thanks for reading.

For help in developing your own wellness plan, get your copy of Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry.