Category Archives: Vocational Wellness

The Incarnation: A Vocational Difference Maker!

Reading time: two minutes.

At January’s arrival, we dive right back into the full swing of ministry.  Not only has the (brief!) respite of the time after Christmas passed, the season of Lent and Easter is looming not too far away.

Many of the stresses for which life in ministry is famous rise up in force during this season.  Most pastors, and a large number of educators, believe that they were not fully prepared for the demands of ministry.  Loneliness, the sense of flying solo through the storms and expectations of ministry, can descend with a furor.  The delicate balance of family and work life is strained when we’ve just gone through one of those “extra-measure” seasons.

And that is why Jesus came.  The Incarnation, that God came in the flesh, makes a big difference, it makes ALL the difference, as we charge into the challenges of ministry at the beginning of a New Year.   Continue reading

Three More Lessons from a Distance Runner!

Reading time: two minutes.

Karl Meltzer broke the record for cruising the Appalachian Trail, doing the nearly 2,200 miles in less than 46 days.  New York Magazine interviewed him and he shared some endurance lessons that apply quite well to this marathon of service in God’s kingdom.

Here’s a few more of his insights, beginning with Sleep.

I just saw something this week that allegedly Dr. Luther had to say about sleep. Continue reading

Favorite Wellness Scriptures: Jeremiah’s Hope!

Reading time: two minutes.

My prayers are with you for a JOY-filled Reformation Day.  “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 136:1).

My problem with choosing favorite wellness scriptures is that ALL scripture brings healing to the soul, the body and the spirit.

Case in point: I think that the traditional Old Testament Lesson for Reformation Day from Jeremiah 31 is a message of healing.

Sin has broken our life with God and our life with one another.  The God of covenant grace, in Israel’s darkest hour promised healing, and the message of promise was itself a work of healing for the people.

As an added bonus, I also see a message of vocational restoration in this message.  Read on! Continue reading

You Might Be in Trouble If…” Vocational Edition!

Reading time: two minutes.

You’re called.  God has work for you to do in HIS amazing work of advancing the kingdom of Christ.  You’re gifted.  You have a unique, God-given and God-powered mix of spiritual gifts, experiences, passions and abilities that the Lord will utilize for His purposes.

You prayed this morning, “If I should wake before I die, I pray the Lord to show me why.”  Today is a day to live out your calling, your vocation in ministry.

But sometimes ministry is hard.  Sometimes very hard.  Today we want to do a quick scan of your vocational wellbeing.  What’s gotten off track that makes living out your calling in Christian ministry so hard? Continue reading

Vocational Wellbeing for Churches in One Word: Service!

Reading time: two minutes.

You are God’s gift to the Church.  You know that, don’t you?   Wow!

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

We stand in the long line of the apostles and prophets who went before us.  It’s a problem when any of us church workers consider ourselves, “God’s gift to the Church” in a prideful, arrogant manner.

But what a joy to be a personally selected servant of our Servant-King, Jesus! Continue reading

Bottom Line: We Wash Feet!

Reading time: two minutes.

I just read the monthly “field notes” from one of our LCMS overseas missionaries, Africa Regional Director Shauen Trump.  There are open doors to ministry, witness and service to greatly underserved populations in Kenya, and with local partnerships, they’re walking through those doors.  They’re washing feet.

At it’s most elementary level, all ministry is washing feet.  Some wash feet.  Others refuse.  Pilate picked up the basin and towel and washed Jesus right out of his life.  Jesus picked up the basin and towel and told the disciples, “I’m doing this as an example for you” (John 13:15).

This week’s water analogy for healthy, balanced living is the example of our Lord.  Vocational wellbeing is simply remembering that we are foot washers. Continue reading

Lenten Self-Care: Vocational Space!

Reading time: less than two minutes, which is plenty during Lent.

In fact, maybe you should skip this post entirely as a way of giving yourself an extra two minutes of space in this very busy season, which is actually the topic this week.

Breathing room is a good thing, mostly because breathing is a good thing.  If we don’t have room to breath, everything else shuts down.  Breathing is like the breath of life.

We’re at that point in the Lenten journey where things are starting to pile up.  Worship planning, sermon writing and special Easter activities like pancakes or egg hunts or outreach events are all starting to pile up.  When we get pressed by deadlines, our creativity diminishes.

Let me share with you some of the best advice I ever got about busyness. Continue reading