I spent quite a bit of time last week talking about clergy self-care with my colleagues at the American Baptist Churches Ministers Council Senate meeting in Green Lake, Wisconsin. One of the issues that came up is whether we pray and take care of self solely for the purpose of being better ministers.
Anne Dilenschneider wrote an outstanding piece in the Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago, Soul Care and the Roots of Clergy Burnout. She says, “The witness of spiritual directors over the centuries is that the leader’s need to ‘make a difference’ — the need to find personal significance through effectiveness — must be set aside in order to be ‘made different’ — the deeper need to discover one’s renewed identity through relationship with God.”
I think being effective leaders is critical. It’s a big part of the work I do with clergy. But it’s not the most important thing. Our own relationship with God and our experience of God’s love apart from what we produce is far more important.
What do you think?