Chaplain, are you taking care of you?

By Jim Hartz

I am not sure what is more fatiguing—ministry in the COVID-19 world or the seemingly endless stream of “How To” articles, webinars and reports. Don’t get me wrong. This is a time of great challenge, and we certainly need to be aware of, and make use of, many resources to keep healthy in order to continue serving. But at times, even the resources can be overwhelming. In order to make the best use of these resources, I think we need to take a layered approach.

First, as much as it is possible, you need to take care of yourself. Eat right, engage in moderate Activity, and get sufficient Rest to care for your body. We are not machines and cannot continue on with a simple oil change and fill up for gas.

Second, engage your mind both in caring for others and in mind-sharpening activities. There are times when we must focus intently on a very specific task or problem. Then there are times to let the mind simply take in the beauty of creation, a random thought, a friendly book, or simply meditate on the goodness of God. A fresh perspective will help us locate and use resources most effectively.

Third, fill your emotional tank by nurturing personal relationships. Take time to talk with and listen to friends and family. Share their joys and sorrows. Reach out to your community and stay connected to your local church family. Let that time together enrich and embolden you for the next challenge.

Remain in the Word, in prayer and meditation and in communion with the Holy Spirit of God. Isaiah 26:3-4 has come to mean so much more to me since all this began:

“You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is an everlasting rock.”

The SBC Chaplaincy team is here to help you and walk with you through difficult times. We also have 9 Chaplain Ambassadors (8 Regional and 1 National Chaplain Ambassador for Women). For more information, contact me at [email protected] or [email protected] or (800) 634-2462.

Jim Hartz is the Chaplain Pastoral Care Manager for the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board.

Published June 16, 2020