How Is It with Your Soul?
“For what does it profit a person if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
What is worth more than your soul?”
Matt. 16:26
The following questions are designed to help you assess the state of your soul as a person in ministry. You are invited to reflect on each question quietly in God’s presence, asking God to help you to see yourself as you really are and your life as it really is. Then place yourself on each continuum as honestly as you can.
These questions are not meant to produce guilt, shame or a sense of failure. Rather, they are intended to help you be honest with yourself and with God about the state of your soul. This is a first step towards ensuring that you find your soul rather than lose your soul in the context of your life in ministry. If you become aware of indications that you might be losing your soul in the context of ministry, do not try to fix things or problem-solve just yet. Instead, simply ask God, “What are we going to do about that?”
More and more often I notice that I am “going through the motions” of ministry—teaching things I am not currently experiencing in my own life, manufacturing emotion that I am not feeling, providing pastoral care but aware I don’t really care.

I am aware of a nagging sense that something is not quite right but I don’t seem to be able to take the time or make the effort to look into it. The truth is, I’m not even sure I know how.

I find myself rushing from one thing to the next without time to really pay attention to what’s going on in and around me.

I am keeping up with what pastoral ministry requires but deep down I feel that have lost touch with who I am in God and what he has called me to do.

I am tired—not just physically but spiritually and emotionally. I don’t really know how to get rested.

I am aware of an underlying irritability and restlessness just beneath the surface of my life.

I can’t stop working even when I know I need to.

I have become emotionally numb—unable to experience a full range of human emotion.

I find myself increasingly giving in to escapist behaviors (eating, mindless television viewing, substance abuse, shopping/spending, etc.) or escapist fantasies—dreaming about being somewhere else or having a different life.

I do not have time for attending to my human needs—exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep, doctors appointments and medical procedures, picking up dry cleaning, getting the car washed, making home repairs.

I find myself hoarding energy—avoiding people in the grocery store, holing up at home or in my office—for fear that routine social interactions will rob me of that last bit of energy.

My spiritual practices have slipped. Even though I know that practices such as solitude, prayer, and personal reflection on Scripture are life-giving, I find I don’t have time or energy for them.

I feel isolated with no one to fully confide in and no one who fully understands my situation.

My staff team/elders and I are very good at strategic planning and “thinking our way” into solutions, but we do not have a clearly articulated process for discernment at the leadership level. Aside from perfunctory prayers to book-end our meetings, we don’t have a way of seeking God together.

It has been a long time since I have felt connected with the presence of God in my own life beyond what I am doing for others. Sometimes I suspect that my vision for ministry has become more important to me than my own relationship with God.

Click "Submit" to see your results.