6 Soul-Care Essentials for Pastors

“Our longing for God must supersede our love for his ministry.”

Some time back, I attended a two-day retreat with Keith Meyer, sponsored by the Cornerstone Pastors Network. Keith is a pastor and author of several books on soul care, including one honored in 2010 as one of the five best books for the leader’s inner life: Whole Life Transformation: Becoming the Change Your Church Needs. Keith challenged us with several great practices to take care of our soul. Here are the top five that grabbed my attention the most.

1. Our longing for God must supersede our love for his ministry.

So often, our passion for Christ gets buried in our passion for our church or ministry. When that happens, we stifle that vital connection to the Vine, our true source of joy and strength.

2. We must slow down enough to go God’s speed.

And what is God’s speed? The speed of love and relationships. This one really struck me. Too often in my drive to accomplish my daily goals, I move so fast that I breeze by the relational connections that Jesus most wants me make.

3. When we pay attention to God throughout the day, we’re most open to divinely arranged interruptions.

One way we can become more sensitive to him is to “pray our day” and “pray our events.” That is, use your calendar items and task list as cues to pray for your meeting, lunch appointment, study time or whatever you have planned for the day. When we do this, everything becomes a cue to go to him.

4. Memorize long, transformative passages like Colossians 3, John 15 and Romans 12.

Sometimes we memorize single Scripture verses and use them simply as “pills” to treat our daily problems. Longer passages, however, can best transform our thinking.

5. Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning.

This one originally came form Dallas Willard, philosophy professor and writer of some of the best books on spiritual formation. One of my favorites he wrote is Renovation of the Heart, a must-read for every pastor.

From Outreach Magazine  Evangelism, Discipleship, Service - Look Inside the Nov/Dec 2017 Issue

6. The acronym VIM captures the nonnegotiables for spiritual transformation.

‘V’ stands for vision. ‘I’ stands for intention. ‘M’ stands for means. Again, Dallas Willard was the first to suggest this process. Here’s a great article that unpacks VIM.

What practices have most helped you care for your soul?

Charles Stone is the senior pastor of West Park Church in London, Ontario, Canada, the founder of StoneWell Ministries and the author of several books, including most recently Brain-Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry. This post was originally published on CharlesStone.com.