It’s getting close, friend… summer time. You’re probably gearing up for VBS, summer camps, or maybe your ministry throttles down a little bit over the summer. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: your soul could probably use some rest and attention.
Can I just stop right here to say, “Way to go!” and give you a big hug? Thank you for all you poured out this past ministry season to invest in the lives of kids and families in your community. You’re one of our heroes.
Because you’re my hero, and we’re friends, I wanted to share a few things you could do (that you might have forgotten about in the business of this past season) that are good for your soul.
As a people person, this is not always my “go-to” spiritual discipline, but it has increasingly been one that I’ve found vital to my soul’s health.
“Jesus often withdrew into lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
I’m so glad Jesus modeled this for the disciples and for us. The King of the Universe would step away from noise and people to be alone with God the Father, to hear from Him, and to be strengthened for His ministry.
Friend, if you’re on the edge of burnout, solitude is the best next step for you. We can’t move forward on steam- we need intimacy with our Source.
I know you’re busy. I know solitude is tough to find. Find the cracks in your day, widen them, and fill them with nothing. I’ve found time for solitude in my mini-van in the Target parking lot before I go grocery shopping. Sometimes I find it out on a walk or run through our neighborhood. Other times, you may need to truly get away (think retreat). You can sense what your soul needs. Listen to that.
Funny, on the heels of solitude I’m now telling you to find someone to get together with. 🙂 This is a transformative discipline. The key here is to find a brother (for the brothers) and a sister (for the sisters) who you can truly connect with on a soul level. A high degree of trust, transparency, and love for one another is key.
I am captivated by Luke’s description of the believers in Acts who were one in heart and mind, and that they joined together constantly in prayer. Can you imagine what it looked like to have a community of people who were so strongly unified, and so strongly committed to each other and to prayer?
We need these people in our lives that our souls are at rest with. As leaders, it’s tough to find these soul friendships–we know a lot of people, but depth takes time to achieve.
One of my soul sisters does not go to my church, and I do not work with her- and that just makes me smile because it means our friendship is built on so much more than history or the circles we run in. It’s soul level. I need her presence in my life, and she helps me get to know Jesus better every time I’m around her.
Friend, I encourage you to make the time for those soul friendships. Your soul craves it. You’ll get to know Jesus better because of it.
My prayer for you, friends, is pretty well summed up by this verse: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 1:2).