Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Intentional Wellness Plans Are Christ-Centered

Decay happens naturally

Our natural state is atrophy. Last week we discussed how important it is to be intentional about safeguarding your spiritual, relational, physical and vocational health. When untended, wholeness in each of these aspects of life is jeopardized.

But a wellness plan that begins with, “I must…” or “I should…” places the burden for health and healing on yourself. A law-oriented approach to wellness is just another debilitating force at work to diminish you.

For the next few weeks, I want to discuss some of the important features of an intentional lifestyle of wellness, beginning with the most important.

Only Jesus can do this.

The first step is backward. Wellness usually begins with healing, by looking back at the ways you’ve suffered hurt.

Have you been wounded by conflict? Only Jesus can restore harmony by his grace and forgiveness. Has your family life suffered? Only Jesus can bring healing to relationships.

Have the burdens of your vocation sapped the joy of ministry? Healing comes by the Spirit’s gift of faith to see Jesus at work where you had failed to recognize him at work in you and through you.

Wellness begins first by welcoming the gracious gift of the gospel’s healing, restorative power.

Then look forward.

Healing is never perfect. We serve through our scars as we await the Lord’s return. But healing is substantial. It makes a difference and enables us to move past the hurts and brokenness.

A forward looking wellness plan is preventive: it anticipates the strain ministry can put on your physical wellbeing, your relationships and your spiritual and emotional life.

It recognizes the need for fortification in the gospel of Christ.

Wellness is a gift of God.

A marital wellness plan is not centered on “being a better husband.” It focuses on welcoming the presence Jesus into your home.

A physical wellness plan doesn’t begin with broccoli or pushups. It begins with daily celebration of life and thanksgiving for the measure of health that God has graciously given.

A vocational wellness plan can’t start with goals and plans and strategies. It starts with daily renewal in the call of Jesus to join him in his mission on earth, knowing that as inadequate as you may be for the tasks of ministry, he has called and gifted you and is the power behind every kingdom advance.

Wellness is not perfection.

The lives of ministers are living testimony to the work of Christ alone. Our good choices and new behaviors are always in joyful response to the Lord’s grace and goodness.

As you consider all the ways you will be intentional about your wellness this year, find joy in knowing that your wellbeing is first and foremost a gracious gift from the Lord.

Thanks for reading.

Intentional wellness plans are discussed in detail in our upcoming new release, “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry: The Grace Place Way to Church Worker Wellness.” For advance ordering information, visit