Spring break has come and gone but its effect was appreciated. Views of a quiet lake will do much for revitalizing. Spending quiet exclusive time with Dana was much needed and enjoyed. Spring break was a “well visit.”
LCEF’s recent issue of Interest Time centered around church worker wellness. As TLSP continues to seek ways to support principals, teachers and all who are involved in our Lutheran schools, Interest Time gave reminders of the realities of ministry that challenge the wellness of those who are serving.
Years ago, Bruce Hartung wrote a book called Holding Up the Prophet’s Hand. Its subtitle is “Supporting Church Workers.” The 300-page book goes into detail of the challenges of ministry and the need to care for those who are caring for us. The book could easily be each church’s and school’s personnel manual as it addresses community, comprehensive personal wellness, and the responsibilities of all in the church and school community in its care for pastors and teachers.
The aftermath (the worst is gone for good, right?) of COVID19 has brought about a strong concern for wellness - for kids, for seniors, for everyone. Hartung describes wellness in terms of emotional well-being, physical well-being, intellectual well-being, vocational well-being, social well-being ,and spiritual well-being. For the purpose of this blog, consider the effects on each of these well-beings for those serving and those served in our churches and schools. It doesn’t take long to realize there is a lot of recuperating that needs to occur - for all of us - but certainly for our pastors and teachers. So what to do?
Consider the following as you consider your own recuperation AND as you look for ways to help others:
1- Rush to God’s gifts. Drive by (or should I say “tune in”) worship isn’t good enough. Yes, God’s Word is shared in digital modes and that is a powerful Word. But Christ’s body and blood shared in the Sacrament of the Altar is an in-person participation. Our spiritual health depends on God’s gifts. The community of faith is best experienced face-to-face.
2- Regular, intentional prayer. There are many reasons to pray but the very model of our Lord’s life shows us that prayer is essential. Prayer connects us to God’s will. Life with Christ needs talking to Him. Prayer gets us out of self-dependence to a dependence on God and that’s a Christian’s life. Take a look at the book of Philippians and you will hear of the influence that prayer has in a joyful life in Christ.
3- Seek community. COVID19 days have played with our minds to think we don’t need the interaction of flesh and blood time. This is a devilish play on God’s design for us. Our home life, our work community, our playtime community, and our church community are essential to healthy living. Separating ourselves from any of these leaves us in isolation and isolation is one of the biggest contributors to depression and other illnesses. Encourage each other for times to visit and share.