Many of the information in these pages has come from the input of multiple missions globally, the organizer of these pages is grateful to all those who responded to the intermission survey and took time to talk and explore these strategies. They are shared with permission in the desire to see health and resilient people serving in the kingdom ministry.
It is a central theme of the Christian faith and to being a full time Christian worker that one has to maintain a good spiritual walk with God. However, experience has shown that maintaining this healthy connection to God is no easier for the full time Christian worker than it is for those in secular professions. In fact, it can be harder.
Working in full time ministry can lull a person into the sense that being immersed in a Christian environment and ethos will sustain them. In fact, there are several factors that can work against Christians workers struggling in spiritual health. Being on the front line can place Christian workers in spiritually hostile environments. Cross cultural stresses can equally cause spiritual stress. Leading others to access the Word of God doesn’t always enable the leader to connect with God personally, but may provide the illusion of doing so. Reasons of time and ministry can cause a worker to short circuit being still before God. Continually being expected to minister to others can cause, not just a physical/mental exhaustion, but a spiritual one too. Because a Christian worker’s expectations of other Christian colleagues can be much higher than those they have of non-Christian colleagues, the disappointment can be greater with the resulting negative impact on spiritual health.
However an organisation can only do so much to encourage staff/members towards good spiritual health. Each person is responsible for their spiritual journey and relationship with their Lord.
3 foundational questions to address when an organization invests in the spiritual health of their staff/ members are:
- how are individual staff being impacted by organizational practice?
- how are the community/ies or teams in which we live and work being impacted by organizational practice?
- how are our staff and community/ies being impacted by the organizational systems and structures we have in place?
The sections below provide 5 strategies for what an organization can do to facilitate good spiritual health.