Lutheran Church Extension Fund
The Best Answer to

The Best Answer to "How Are You Doing?"

Do you ever hesitate when asked, “How are you doing, Pastor?”

Do you find yourself caught somewhere between answering “Fine!” and wondering, “Do you really want to hear about it?”

There are appropriate contexts for sharing how you are doing, physically, spiritually, emotionally. A big part of wellness is having those safe places, at home, with peers or friends, where you can honestly share how you’re doing.

An even bigger part of wellness is knowing just how you are doing.

For many years, I didn’t know that was important. I didn’t even know it was permitted. I considered myself a care-giver, not a care-receiver. I was the one who asked people how they were doing. Seelsorge they call it. Caring for souls.

I was the consummate ministry professional (so I thought) caring for others in need.

But too often acting as if I didn’t have a soul of my own.

It was a pastoral counselor who finally asked me, as I sat near tears in his office, how I was doing. In a moment of clarity, I was finally able to admit that I wasn’t doing very well. It took a few more sessions and a span of months before I could even begin to answer the question for myself.

I’d love to help you get a better handle on your answer to the question.

The Wellness Wheel is a tool designed to help you know how you’re doing.

It’s a wellness scanner for church work professionals. The scanner is switched on when we come to realize that we serve best out of a place of wellbeing. The scan starts with the humble admission that we are broken and wounded in as many places as the people we serve.

It’s why we often say, “Humans make the best pastors.” Gospel proclamation begins in personal testimony. We’re sent to “tell how much has God done for you,” as Jesus once advised (Luke 8:39).

So helping you assess your own need for the healing touch of the gospel is what The Wellness Wheel was designed to do. The eight aspects of wellness depicted on The Wheel are not 100% exhaustive, but I think they come pretty close. By asking frequently, “How am I doing baptismally, spiritually, relationally, intellectually, emotionally, vocationally, physically and financially?” you’ll get a pretty good scan.

There’s a brief description of The Wellness Wheel on our website.

Our book, “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry” includes many more biblical resources to help you with your assessment. I hope you’ll take a look.

I know it works. Just recently I found myself in a funk for a couple of weeks (rough year here at Grace Place Wellness) so I did my own scan. Ouch!

I’m currently taking a dose of my own medicine. I’m working through the Vocational Wellness Workbook, one of eight companion volumes to “Reclaiming the Joy.” I’m discovering the Lord’s healing touch in my own life as we work through some transitional issues here at Grace Place.

As Dr. Luther suggested, “This life… is not health, but getting well” (LW 32:24). It’s a journey, Jesus alongside asking continually, “How are you doing?”

And alongside by his Spirit for the healing touch of grace only he can give.

Thanks for reading.