The dis-ease of Pastoral Soul Care

A great article, by Annie Dilenschneider, that goes beyond surface "fixes" of the problems of helping pastors maintain health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) in ministry. Here's a snippet of the article:

"Until the 1920s, the pastor was a cura animarum, the "cure of souls," or "curate" -- a person who cared for souls by helping people locate themselves in God's greater story. The first step in this work was the pastor's own attention to her or his soul-care through an intentional focus on her or his personal relationship with the Holy...  My data, largely about United Methodist pastors, confirms your learnings that our pastors in large part are not praying people. They do not practice the historic spiritual disciplines and therefore it is impossible for them to help those of us who look to them for guidance in the church to be praying people seeking God and love of neighbor.

"Daily time and space for this inner work are essential for the health of clergy and congregations. As Norman Shawchuck and Roger Heuser wrote in Leading the Congregation: Caring for Yourself While Serving Others, a congregation
will not journey beyond the pastor; the congregation will not venture where the pastor is not leading. This is a hard saying. It would be more comfortable to work like the traffic cop -- to give a map or a few verbal instructions -- but spiritual formation is a case where only those who have eyes to see can lead. (p. 126)
Click here to read the article in whole.
In short, the author is describing how we have switched the First and Second great commands. The Second command, loving others, is deemed "ministry" and is more measureable than the first - after all, how do you measure love in terms of effectiveness, productive, useful, growth...

Do you need to developing this inner work of intimacy with God and self? Are you interested in a companion for your journey. reFresh offers spiritual direction and retreats to help foster unhurried, intimate space for you to linger in God's love and leading as the source of your life and ministry. Contact me for more info

Have a blessed day lingering in God's love