I recently read a book that has changed the trajectory of my leadership, “Hows Your Soul?” by Judah Smith. In it he says one line that serves the entire purpose of the book, “A healthy soul is paramount to a healthy life.” Just a one liner gut check.
A healthy soul is paramount to a healthy life. I think if we are being honest, we all want to live healthy lives but sometimes the pressure of being a leader causes us to forget this. Sure, it is important for everyone around us to be healthy, especially our small group coaches and leaders. But, if we were to take a step back and think about it, we lead out of a reflection of the condition of our souls. In other words, we must be healthy in order to lead healthy. Just as the same is true: an unhealthy soul leads in an unhealthy way. Our soul will always set the tone and the example.
Jesus asks in Matthew 16:26 (NLT), “Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Put another way, what could be more central to who you are? I once had a mentor in college where every time she passed me in the student center, she wouldn’t ask the traditional, nonchalant, “How are you?” She would ask, “How is your soul today?” So, if I were to pull up a chair next to you today and ask, “How’s your soul?” What would you say? It’s a challenging question, isn’t it? When was the last time you sat down and thought about the condition of your soul?
Every soul has a season. Some are blossoming with growth. Others may feel like they are stuck in a winter storm. Jesus tells us in multiple places throughout Scripture that the care of our soul is the most important thing we could ever do. It’s so important that it is a core value of the Great Commandment. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, NIV). How can we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength if our soul is in bad condition? Better yet, how can you love your neighbor as yourself if you aren’t taking care of your own soul?
Soul care is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but we can begin today taking steps towards being a healthier leader so that we are stewarding our teams and small group leaders in the best possible way we know how.
- How are you caring for the health of your soul today?
- What are you doing to help your small group leaders care for their souls?
- Soul Keeping- John Ortberg
- How’s Your Soul?- Judah Smith
- The Practice of the Presence of God- Brother Lawrence