I just started my next to last class for my D.Min at Perkins - Spiritual Leadership in Missional Churches. One of our assignments is to keep a journal during the 2 weeks of class. I decided to blog mine...
How is it with your soul?
This question represents the entire curriculum for an experience in early Methodism referred to as "class meetings." A small group of folks would gather regularly and each in turn would respond to this question. In our contemporary culture obsessed with information and "stuff" we may be tempted to respond that such a gathering would be a total waste of valuable time. If we're going to get people together shouldn't we try to get more accomplished? After all, people are busy, you know.
And such a response would be a huge mistake.
My friend and ministry coach, Anthony Parker, asks me questions like this regularly in our coaching sessions. To be totally honest, I have mixed responses to the question. At times I just don't want to get into it. Maybe I'm a little embarrassed about how it is with my soul. Perhaps the emotions are too raw and I'm not sure how well I can manage talking about it. Sometimes I know that opening that can of worms will take up all of our time and there are other things I (wrongly) feel are more pressing.
But to continue with my confession, even when I choose not to give full honest disclosure on how it is with my soul, I know that I'm short-changing myself. There are a lot of things that I don't know, but I have learned this much: it takes courage to stand up to my ego and address my brokenness, and when I lack that courage, every aspect of my life suffers.
I would not be surprised to learn that most people aren't as damaged or neurotic as I am, but I would be shocked if it came out that we don't all need to take the care of our souls more seriously. I am convinced that a regular time to gather in the name of Jesus to honestly assess how it is with our souls and deeply listen to how it is with others'; to engage in a time of confession, testimony and prayer within community would be more beneficial than many of the intricately designed and information heavy curriculums and programs we often implement.