Staying Healthy Spiritually Is Imperative

Staying Healthy Spiritually is Imperative

Staying healthy spiritually is imperative for the preacher during times of crisis, like this pandemic we are going through.  We have been looking at the importance of taking care of yourself in this blog for many weeks.  Here’s the first in the series.  After looking at mental and emotional and physical health, we turn to one of the most important aspects of our health: the spiritual side of us.

Staying Spiritually Healthy

Time in the Word is Imperative

I am talking to Christian leaders here, right?  You know what I am going to say first in a list of things to do to stayposter about spiritual health spiritually healthy, I suspect.  Don’t neglect your own devotional time!  That’s simple to say, but it’s hard to do during a time of stress.  Sometimes it is easy, when the schedule gets full, to find our own time in the Word and prayer fall by the wayside.  You know what this is like, I suspect.

A Hard-Learned Lesson

I’ve referred in this blog previously to a time of great stress that I went through back in the mid-2000’s.  We were going through a process of relocation of our ministry.  We had purchased 24 acres in Southern California that was going to be at the center of a great housing boom.  Our old, original facility was sold to another church in our community, and we moved our ministry into a warehouse just south of town.  We had estimated that we would be in that temporary place for about 18 months.  It turned into 30 months with all the delays in construction.  Our attendance and income was declining during those months, just as our need for funding was growing to build out the new campus.

I learned something important about myself during that time.  I found that if I didn’t have a devotional time first thing in my day, it wouldn’t happen during the rest of the day.  But here was the problem: I loved to play basketball, and we had a group that met early in the morning three mornings a week to play.  I spent those mornings doing something I loved.  And besides, I thought, I needed the physical exercise.

Unfortunately, I began to neglect the time with God.  When I got home, I would quickly shower and get into the office.  The stuff that was happening in the life of the church needed addressing.  This lack of drawing on the Spirit contributed to a great failure in my life that ended up with my being dismissed from the church I led for 22 years.

Get it?  Staying spiritually healthy is imperative for people who preach and lead in the Kingdom of God.

Practicing Disciplines Helps us Stay Spiritually Healthy

Spiritual Disciplines are those activities that disciple us, enabling us to draw closer to God.  If the idea of spiritual listing of spiritual disciplinesdisciplines is new to you, here’s a link to a description of 12 different such disciplines.  When you are going through a stressful time like this pandemic, it is a good time to try out some disciplines that maybe you haven’t been using regularly.  For instance, give fasting a try, or journaling, or silence and solitude.  This is an opportunity time for you to stretch and grow.

I have a good friend who is a mentor and coach to me, as well as being my accountability partner in life.  We shared many aspects of ministry together during my years in California, and still remain in regular contact by telephone.  I once asked him about his practice of spending one day per month in silence and solitude.  His response was a bit surprising to me.  He said that he can trace back every significant victory and every significant advance in his ministry to those days spent away.

I tried it.  It took some practice before I felt good at it, but it added another dimension to my spiritual life eventually.   So, give it a try.   Pick one new discipline and practice it for awhile.   This will help you in the realization that staying spiritually health is imperative for your life as a preacher.

Connecting With Another Contributes to Spiritual Health

We were not meant to go on this spiritual journey alone.  However, it is easy for the solo preacher to act like he or she has his/her act together.  If we are honest, though, we know that we aren’t always as together as we project to others, and so, it is important to have one or two people that you trust, with whom you can share your journey.  You see, during times of stress in your life is when you are going to more likely be tempted.  You will be better equipped to deal with those triggers to wrong if you are sharing the struggle with someone else.

In the next post, we’ll look more at pathways to God for your spiritual growth.  For now, here’s a creative introduction to silence and solitude.