Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Reflections on Wellness after Three Years

Reading time, three minutes. I don’t know everything about church worker wellness, but as I pass my third year anniversary as the Program Director for Grace Place Wellness Ministries, I’ve been thinking that I’ve gained some significant insights along the way.1 Logo GPW I’ll begin a new eight week cycle around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel next week, but this week, let me offer five words that speak to me about church worker wellness.  I hope you’ll find a quick blessing in here somewhere. #1 Jesus. Everything begins and ends with Jesus, so let’s start here. At its essence, the ministry of Jesus is a healing ministry.  He restores what is broken by sin with His forgiving grace.  You’re broken.  And even if Jesus has called you to join with Him in this ministry of reconciliation, you are in need of healing yourself. Bask in His grace.  Don’t ignore the reality of sin in your own life.  Search it out by Word and Spirit.  Confess it.  And receive His grace.  Your ministry to others begins where you are leading others, at the foot of the cross.  Wellness for ALL of us is experiencing the healing power of the gospel of forgiveness.  Don’t forget that. #2. Selflessness.  It’s not about me.  Self-care is not selfish.  Dying and rising in Christ and living the new life is done so I can be available to those I’m called to serve, in my family, my congregation and my community.  Jesus went away to pray or crawled in the back of the boat for a nap not because He thought He was more important than others, but exactly because of others.  He wanted to be at His best, serving from His relationship with the Father and out of physical vitality.  It can be completely self-less to care for your own wellbeing. #3. Balance.  Wellness comes in a lot of different varieties. I love the model of the Lutheran Wellness Wheel.  It could easily have twelve or twenty or six Wholeness Wheel-CPS-2011aspects of wellness, but it depicts eight and all are crucial.  I’m at my best when I’ve given consideration to all eight: Baptismal, Spiritual, Relational, Intellectual, Emotional, Vocational, Physical and Financial wellbeing.  The Wheel wobbles when any one is out of whack. #4. Partnership.  We’re in this together. No church worker is an island unto themselves.  We need the partnership of family, congregation, ministry partners, synod and district together, working for healing, balance and wholeness in our lives.  We truly are members of a body, and any injured part makes the whole body suffer. #5. Jesus.  I told you it all begins and ends with Jesus. Don’t start your day without some time with Jesus.  Let the Living Word of Life speak to you inJesus and me the living Word each day.  God into every task and adventure of faith assured of His presence and power by virtue of baptismal grace, “… that all my doings in life may please You.” And don’t let the day end without Jesus.  “Forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night.” God bless you on your wellness journey! Thanks for reading. Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!