Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Lesson Ten: Self-Care Must Be Intentional

You’re not being selfish

When the airplane loses cabin pressure and you get your own oxygen mask firmly in place first, you’re doing it for the sake of those traveling with you. They depend on you.

Put your own mask on first!

You’re not being selfish; you’re taking care of your response-ability. We need you at your best.

I mentioned in Lesson Five that Joy in Ministry is the primary indicator of wellness. When the burdens of ministry deplete the joy of life with God, the joy of life in community with others and the joy of gospel ministry itself, it’s a sure sign that you’re in need of intentional self care.

Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry

The loss of joy is a plague on church workers reaching nearly pandemic proportions. The purpose behind our new book, Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry is just that, to encourage church workers to develop intentional wellness plans to reclaim and defend the joy of living in God’s grace, of living in caring communities and in their lives of humble service.

In our decades of service to ministry professionals and their families, we’ve discovered an ironic paradox of church work. Ministers care for others to the neglect of their own wellbeing, but they serve others better when they take care of themselves first. Oxygen matters!

The Ten Lessons depict a learning curve that we all must eventually navigate. Together, the Ten Lessons read, “Ministry is great, but hard because it’s the way of the cross and overwhelmed is a way of life, so don’t try this alone. Joy is fuel for ministry, but ministry threatens the joy of life with God, the joy of life in community and the joy of life in ministry; therefore daily healing is essential and self-care must be intentional.”

There are two ways to learn the lessons

Far too often we learn the hard way, like Elijah who collapsed under the broom tree. If I never see a pastor in the news again it will be too soon. A pastor in the news is rarely a good thing.

The law of the Lord is a brutal taskmaster. We learn through our pain and our failures that we are frail and in need of daily healing and renewal.

It’s so much better to learn from the gospel of healing and grace, to bathe in God’s renewing love and mercy every day, to be intentional about tending to our faith life, our family life and our physical wellbeing before the crisis comes.

A discipline of daily self-care helps to ensure the Spirit’s blessing of joy.

Can we help?

Our mission at Grace Place Wellness Ministries is to nurture vitality and joy in ministry by inspiring and equipping church workers to lead healthy lives.

If you haven’t recently, I hope you’ll visit our website to get on board for the release of our new book and learn more about the resources we offer to support you in your wellness journey.

This past year was exhausting. Jesus still heals.

Let’s take the journey together.

Thanks for reading.

You can learn more about the upcoming release of our new book “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry: The Grace Place Way to Church Worker Wellness” by visiting our website