Soul Starvation

soul_550When Christian leaders are not regularly nourished, burnout can be the result.

Ministry can become something that one gets done by sheer willpower.  There is no longer any sense that one is drinking from strong and deep spiritual wells.

This can become deadly.

The demands of life and ministry become intoxicating.  Our lives are fueled by an adrenaline rush that results from feeling needed and important.

The pressures of life and ministry can become intoxicating.  There is no sense of rest, silence or recreation.  Instead, we find ourselves thriving on the pressure.

The appearance of spirituality can become intoxicating.  We can put tremendous energy into creating the illusion that we are spiritual people.

This intoxication is deadly.

Maybe the place to begin is by praying that God might nourish and water the parched soul and that the demands of life and the church will not be allowed to take precedence over what is essential to the soul.”

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2 thoughts on “Soul Starvation

  1. Thanks for your article stating nourish the soul. Its true.

    Currently as an itinerant Pastor/Missionary, I have many tasks that I carry out. A friend once said if you want something done – ask a busy person. I find this rings true.
    To list all that I partake in would probably make me look like I am boasting, yet I want to reinforce what you said, and If you allow me to, add another part of practical advice to what nourishing the soul means.

    So here goes, I am 44, I suppose middle aged? Fit healthy, train with weights 6 times a week for and hour or so each day. Eat good healthy food. I am completing a degree in Nursing in my final year after completing BA in Theology. Seven years study full time so far. I work as an assistant in nursing in palliative care part time (this is probably the most taxing emotionally and spiritually task that I do). Run a blog , preach every month or so as the Lord directs. Write theological devotions (every six weeks). Closely mentor a couple of younger men in their twenties (closely meaning daily, in the word and in life). Run a ministry that reaches out to addicts. Serve as a Street Chaplain (once every six weeks). Travel overseas on mission once every six months.

    Oh and started a Gospel CHoir lately (and I am not a singer!)

    My point? Yes I do a lot and many would warrant that burn out is a real possibility. Yet it isn’t. I soldier on. At times the palliative care hits me hard and I find myself in tears sobbing or approaching the abyss of depression. Though God pulls me out everytime (within days not weeks)


    Well I pray for one solid hour every morning. Yes a dedicated solid hour. No less.

    I read 5-10 chapters of the bible every day without fail. Every day 5- 10, spread between OT and NT.

    On SUnday I extend my praying to 2 or 3 hours. ANd read more. I do not exercise on that day and really spend time recharging with God.

    This is what nourishing the soul really means. Prayer with God and bread (the word).

    When I do that, I then end up struggling with all this energy God gives me. And hence doing blog replies in my downtime!

    God Bless

    • Thank you Jack for your comment. It is good to hear about your ministries and your faithful daily habits/practices. I was struck by the rhythm of your life and how you have found a way to come at life that is busy but also nourishing/replenishing. I am stressing this because I think that far too often many have a kind of “hit and miss” approach to prayer/Scripture instead of finding a regular rhythm. Thanks so much.