Soul Care for Ministers and Spouses
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
In Spokane, Washington, the Spokane River runs right through the heart of town. The downtown area boasts a beautiful park that envelopes the river on both sides. Numerous walking bridges connect the north end of the park to the south. Many families love to visit downtown and walk along those bridges, standing over the rapids and small waterfalls that make up the Spokane River.
This breathtaking view doesn't happen by chance, there is a group of people that help keep this view beautiful. They are called Riverkeepers. Every week—sun, rain, snow, or ice—a group of people board a raft and clean the river. They collect every piece of garbage, empty can, basketball, and even the occasional toilet out of the river. They do this because they know that when an area is left to itself, it naturally deteriorates. Intentional steps are necessary to keep something healthy and clean.
Solomon tells us that we are to guard and protect our hearts because from them flow the springs of life. Our heart is what drives us, motivates us, and pushes us. When our heart begins to accumulate clutter and junk, the river of our heart becomes less healthy. The good things from the Lord that should flow freely from our lives get bogged down. We are unable to minister and care for others as well as we could because we have not taken the necessary steps to care for ourselves.
Our goal in Riverkeepers is to provide ideas, articles, and tips to pastors, spouses, and other ministry leaders that will encourage each of us to actively participate in keeping our souls from collecting debris and consequently limiting our effectiveness in ministry.
Every quarter we will release an article challenging pastors and spouses to reflect on an area of life to see if the Spirit has something to say to you. Ministry brings much joy, but with that joy can also come pain and discouragement. Serving others is hard work. We want our ministers to find times of refreshment.
What debris might need God's help to remove so he can move with greater fervency in our lives?
- Maybe the stress of COVID-19 has you overwhelmed.
- Maybe you are out of time and have no more margin to do a single extra thing in your life. Is God asking you to say no to some things so that you can say yes to His things?
- Have you allowed the expectations of others to supersede God’s call on your life? Are so worried about what others think that you have set those worries ahead of what God has asked you to do?
- Have you taken a break lately? Have you remembered that God works seven days a week and you don’t have to?
- What is God bringing to mind that is cluttering up your soul?
Blessings to you.
Pastor Isaac Hebden
Director, Open Bible Riverkeepers,
Lead Pastor of The Intersection in Spokane Valley, Washington