1. First and foremost is an intimate walk with God. Sometimes serving in ministry keeps our calendar full and our time scheduled to the max. A dump truck cannot be filled while moving nor a Godly person inspired without stopping to receive.
2. Reading is another important resource. Paul asked for the scrolls/parchments. Obviously the Word of God should be at the top of our list. However, I would add two other forms of reading.
- We should read for professional growth. Books about preaching, the devotional life, history, church administration, and the like will inspire professional growth. Such growth has a proactive affect in maintaining ministry health.
- Another form of reading deals with heart issues. Many professionals have written books about heart issues. This would include burn-out, dealing with bitterness, recognizing depression, maintaining priorities, and the like.
3. Another valuable resource is a truthful friend. The Bible tells us there is a “friend who sticks closer than a brother.” We need friends to comfort us when we are discouraged and be honest with us when we need to hear the truth. Sometimes we make foolish choices and need to be told so. A trustworthy friend will tell us the truth, even when it hurts.
4. We need a professional adviser. This could be a counselor who works with ministers on a regular basis. It could be a denominational worker who understands the heart of ministers. It could be a coach/mentor to walk with us through the decisions of ministry.
5. We need interaction with others who serve in ministry. My last two articles (Wanted, Encouragers; and No man Is an Island) speak to this need. It is easy to get caught in the day-to-day affairs of ministry and forget those who walk a similar path.
When the “Shepherd’s Connection” was founded two years ago, our desire was to connect ministers with resources that promote health in ministry. These include reading, retreats, testimonies, blogs, articles, and ministry retreats where we can go to be refreshed. We recognize that you need and want to stay healthy for ministry. Serving in ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. We pray that you will finish well!