Monthly Theme: Your Wellness Plan
Reading time: two minutes.
Churches are places of healing. Jesus calls the broken to bring their spiritual, relational, emotional, physical wounds to the foot of the cross to find healing, life, and new beginnings.
The church needs experts in healing.
The Bible is the story of God touching broken lives like yours and mine with the healing grace of the gospel. When the people of our communities come to us to find that healing, our best first response is, “Been there!”
Henri Nouwen said that it’s crazy to think someone who has never been to the wilderness can help us find our way out.
The only way to become an expert in the healing power of the gospel is to experience it yourself.
In Law and Gospel, C. F. W. Walther said it like this: “A [preacher] who has not been through this experience is a sound without meaning (sine mente sonans), a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. But a preacher who has personally passed through this experience can really speak from the heart, and what he says will go into the hearts of his hearers.”
That’s why I encourage you to dig deeply into how the gospel of Jesus Christ has made a difference in your own life: spiritually, relationally, financially, physically, vocationally, in every way.
Here’s the warning: the rest of today’s post is a shameless advertisement for our wellness study guides, the “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry Workbook Series.”
Wellness by the healing work of Christ is a journey.
We’re never quite arriving, but always being blessed, filled and renewed. The Workbooks are a guide for you on the journey.
The journey starts by identifying that aspect of wellness that most needs the Lord’s healing touch, the place where you are hurting the most. The resources in our two books, Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry (primarily for Pastors) and Reclaiming the Joy of a Church Vocation (for non-ordained in church and school ministries) can help you find the place to begin. (Last month’s blog posts on assessing wellness were intended for that purpose also.)
The Workbooks will guide you on a self study that follows five steps. (You can preview the Steps on the Amazon page listing the eight workbooks by clicking on the “Look Inside” button).
Briefly, the Five Steps are…
Understanding Wellness. You’ll be guided on a scripture study of that aspect of wellness (spiritual, vocational, etc.) that you chose. You’ll consider our definition of that kind of wellness and be encouraged to develop your own.
Understanding Brokenness. You’ll dig deeper into your own experience to understand why you are where you are in your journey, clearly naming your struggle and tracking down some of the potential root causes of your own brokenness.
Understanding Healing. You’ll discover hope for a brighter future by exploring the ways the Spirit works through Word and Sacrament to bring healing.
Welcoming the Healing Spirit. If you feel it’s needed, you’ll look to the past hurts and wounds that have caused you pain and set a plan for recovery and renewal by the grace of Christ.
Welcoming the Spirit of Joy. With a greater understanding of your past, you’ll develop an intentional plan to set boundaries and learn the disciplines that will help you avoid brokenness in the future.
Welcome to the journey. You’re not alone. Let me know how I can help!
Thanks for reading.