Appreciating the Ups and Downs of Ministry Life: Understandings from the Wycliffe Wellness Project

by Wanda Malcolm

What renews your energy and enthusiasm for the ministry you are engaged in? Is it “Living Out My Calling”, “Worshipping through Music”, “Helping Others Develop”, “Seeing Results”, or something different than any of these? The team working on the Wycliffe Wellness Research Project are finding that some aspects of ministry life are almost universally deeply satisfying, while others vary quite a bit from one person to the next.

The same can be said for the inevitable stress that comes with a life of ministry, in that some sources of stress are extremely common, and therefore seem like nothing more than common sense. There are some surprises though; one of the most common stressors to emerge from the study is one we thought would be a satisfier! Here’s a hint: the more important something in our ministry life is to us, the more potential it has to be stressful. In fact, many of the potentially satisfying aspects of ministry life are sources of stress. This means that we can’t “get rid of” the stress without the risk of losing our passion for our ministry! We are not without hope, however, as being able to see and have a conversation about how this works has been an encouragement to the individuals who have participated in the Wycliffe Wellness Project.

Come out to our workshop and find out more about some of the stressful satisfiers that are the lifeblood of ministry life. We’ll also tell you how you can contribute to a body of research that is being used to build up the Body of Christ, and how you can receive a Confidential Feedback Summary of your personal satisfiers and stressors.

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