I’ll get a new car when the wheels fall off my ’06 Malibu. I’ll probably get stranded by the roadside one day, but I’m okay with that. I only drive it around town and my contingency plan to Uber over to a used car dealer will work just fine.
I’m not okay with having skin cancer surgery (again). My last one motivated me to wear sunscreen and get checked regularly.
It’s called “readiness for change.” When you’re ready, you’ll make a plan, make adjustments to your lifestyle for the sake of your wellbeing.
Church worker wellness is a matter of readiness for change.
In my 100’s of conversations with professional church workers, I’ve found that we’re all over the place in our readiness to make the adjustments that will increase our likelihood of flourishing in ministry.
Some are thinking about change, because they sense something is not right. Some have gone as far as doing some serious assessment of their coping strategies, finding them less than adequate.
Some seem to be just waiting around for the day when the wheels fall off.
I find that those who are flourishing in ministry have been intentional about the practices of a healthy spiritual life, a healthy relational life with church and family, and a healthy vocational life, including tending to their physical and financial wellness.
Those who are intentional seem to have followed a similar path in becoming ready for change. They’ve learned the same lessons, often the hard way, (like the wheels falling off).
I believe that the Ten Lessons I outlined in Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry are a pretty good summary of the journey to intentionality in developing a wellness plan. To help you along your journey, and as a way to assess your readiness, here’s a quick summary of the Ten Lessons.
Lesson One: Ministry is great, but hard. Just like Jesus said it would be. Most learn this one pretty early on.
Lesson Two: Because ministry is the way of the cross. There’s a price to pay for all who follow Jesus. The cross of leadership in the Church is often extra heavy.
Lesson Three: And overwhelmed is a way of life. Some in ministry have to look for things to do. Most of us are faced with the reality of the never-ending harvest, so much to do, so many to reach with the love of Jesus.
Lesson Four: So don’t try this alone. Ministry is always corporate. We’re a body, in this together, in the fellowship of the Church and the sisterhood/brotherhood of people in ministry.
Lesson Five: Joy is fuel for ministry. Moments of seeing that “Jesus did that!” keep us going.
Lesson Six: But ministry threatens the joy of life with God. Ironic, but true.
Lesson Seven: And ministry threatens the joy of life in community. Church conflict and the strain on our family life is real.
Lesson Eight: And ministry threatens the joy of ministry. The challenging nature of the calling itself is what drives many of us out.
Lesson Nine: Which makes daily healing essential. The Gospel renews, and it overcomes all forces working against us.
Lesson Ten: Therefore, self-care has to be intentional.
I hope you’re well on your way to learning Lesson Ten. Read through the Ten Lessons again. And remember that Grace Place Wellness is here to help you make your plan.
Thanks for reading.