Alban Weekly | Will this work make me sick?

10 months ago

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Will this work make me sick?
Those of us involved in Christian institutions and churches often work to protect other people whose bodies are oppressed, abused, trapped in violent situations or discriminated against. But we don't often stop to think about how well our own bodies sustain the work we are called to do.
In a recent conversation with a friend contemplating a career move, we carefully examined all the angles: What work is she called to do? What work is she most gifted to do? What is her passion?
But later, it occurred to me that we had missed a crucial question: What work can she physically sustain? What work and how much work can her body take?
Like so many Christian leaders I have met over the years, this wonderful friend is serving God to the fullest -- in an institution, a church and the academy at the same time. She is using all of her talents. She is young enough that she may not yet have considered this question of physical sustainability, but in time, she will need to.
As Christian leaders and as creatures in God's creation, we have a theological obligation to ask the question, "Will this work make me sick?"
Read more from Gretchen Ziegenhals »
Reflective Leadership Grants offer Christian leaders "balcony time" to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives and discern next steps.
Leaders must simultaneously manage immediate needs and look ahead to what is coming next. In today's rapidly changing context, leaders often spend so much time reacting that they don't have the time or space to "get on the balcony," stepping away from daily obligations and focusing on the long view.
The Reflective Leadership Grant program offers lay and ordained Christian leaders up to $15,000 to step away from their current work to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives and discern next steps.
Learn more and apply »
Ask any JetBlue Airways crew member the company's five values, and he or she can rattle them off: safety, caring, integrity, passion and fun. Naming those values isn't just a rote exercise, says Marty St. George, the executive vice president for commercial and planning at JetBlue; it reflects deeply held convictions that guide decision making at every level of the company. In this conversation, St. George and "Can These Bones" co-host Laura Everett explore the lessons an airline executive can teach Christian leaders about creating a healthy organizational culture through team building, leadership training and talent cultivation.
Read or listen to this podcast »
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Those who flourish in ministry are intentional about their well-being
Challenges are part of any ministry, yet some clergy thrive despite the inevitable setbacks. Research shows that their keys to success can be boiled down to a few simple strategies available to anyone.
Read more from Kate Rugani »
Don't be embarrassed to admit you need help
The belief that he should "pray his way through" depression prevented a pastor from seeking counseling. But after going to a therapist, the pastor of Miller Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia wants to persuade others to seek a therapist's help.
Read more from Wayne Weathers »
How can clergy achieve positive mental health? 
A study of United Methodist clergy in North Carolina has found that certain conditions correspond to both a lower likelihood of depression and anxiety and to higher levels of positive mental health. By promoting these, churches can help their clergy thrive.
Read more from Kate Rugani »
Spiritual Wholeness for Clergy A New Psychology of Intimacy with God, Self, and Others
by Donald R. Hands and Wayne L. Fehr
Donald Hands and Wayne Fehr combine clinical psychology and spiritual direction to create a practical model of spirituality that integrates theology, psychology, and an understanding of individual frailties in a new way. Spiritual Wholeness draws on counseling experience with more than 400 clergy and pinpoints the human problems, traps, and temptations awaiting those who choose the clergy role. 
Clergy will learn to develop and maintain a psychologically healthy spirituality in relationships with others. Judicatory executives and therapists working with clergy will gain insight into addiction problems and how to help clergy move toward greater emotional and spiritual health.
Learn more and order the book »
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