Lutheran Church Extension Fund
The wellness question I hope you CAN'T answer!

The wellness question I hope you CAN'T answer!

The mission of Grace Place Wellness is to help you ask and answer the important questions: “How are you, spiritually, physically, relationally?” “What brings you the greatest joy in ministry? How’s your joy?”

Your answers to the questions help you seek the healing grace of Christ for vitality and joy in ministry.

There’s one question I hope you struggle with and reply, “There’s no easy answer for that one. It’s yes and no. I waver a little bit back and forth.”

Here’s the question. It’s one of my favorite vocational wellness assessment questions.

“Do you feel more unworthy for the call to ministry, or more emboldened by God’s anointing?”

It’s a paradox of the faith. It’s the constant pull and tug that ministers of the gospel feel. Dying and yet rising. Sinner and yet saint. Condemned and yet set free.

It’s the sincere humility of honestly feeling overwhelmed by the tasks of ministry, ready to crawl back into bed, and yet stepping forward in the power of the Holy Spirit, enduring every sacrifice for the joy of sharing Christ.

When asked the question, we’re at our best when we don’t know exactly how to answer, hearing good arguments rattle through our brains (and hearts) for both answers. “Completely unqualified and disqualified? Yes, it’s true. Completely confident of God’s call and presence in all I do. No doubt about it!”

That’s a good place to be.

We get in trouble when leaning too far on one side or the other, (although leaning just a wee little bit toward the side of confident and qualified is itself a witness to the gospel!)

Satan can paralyze those who land too far on the “unworthy” side of the question.

Doubt and timidity is a faithless “Jonah” posture, that hinders the advancement of the kingdom.

But Satan can also set easy traps for the overconfident who lack the humility that relies only on the Lord for the power of proclamation, for the Spirit alone to produce the fruit of the gospel.

In all of his personal testimony about the call into ministry, Paul held the tension in balance extremely well. In a single breath he could define both his unworthiness and his anointing for ministry. Watch for it in every one of his letters.

I love how he defines his call in Ephesians. (We like Ephesians because Paul touches on every issue of church worker wellness in summary fashion.)

“Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).

That might be a good slogan on a church worker’s business card: “Less than least, grace received.”

Chapter four: same thing. “To each of us, grace has been given… He gave some to be apostles… some to be pastors and teachers…” We have this call purely by undeserved grace, and yet we are designated “God’s gift to the Church!”

Where do you sit on the unworthy/emboldened scale today? If it’s an easy question for you to answer, one way or another, remember that by the grace of God, either his Word of Law will humble you back toward the sincere humility you need, or his Word of Gospel will fill you with the sanctified hubris of an ambassador of heaven.

If you’re not sure how to answer, you’re in a good place and I’ll tell Satan to look out.

Thanks for reading.