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Suit Up, Soldier!

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

With so fierce a battlefield and so many battlefields to stand firm on, is it any wonder that people who give their all to the ministry God has called them often face the engulfing flames of burnout? It becomes important, then, for every Christian soldier to be on our guard. We need to suit up in our spiritual armor, ready for the fight. But Satan is relentless, and the battle is constant. So, what do we do so that we are constantly battle ready?

Every soldier must return to the source our strength and power

God has given us the Armor of God, but if all we do is fight, we will become weary, battle fatigued, and drop out of the battle. We must take time to rest, regroup, sharpen our swords, and return to the source of our strength and power. We gain our spiritual strength from God, but we must also tend to our physical strength, and we do so through self-care.

Even if you have not yet reached a place in ministry where stress and burnout has engulfed you, learning how to practice self-care now, can help you avoid possible burnout in the future. Understanding self-care can help you recognize when stress, burnout and compassion fatigue are staring you in the face so that you can take a step back, rest, refocus, and renew your strength as you get away with Jesus and reconnect to the Vine where you will receive living water to nourish and strengthen you for the battles you face.

A sobering picture for every Christian Soldier

If you are new to the ministry or at a place where you are excelling and seeing God work in mighty ways, you might think a blog series on Biblical self-care practices is not needed. However, statistics paint a sobering picture.

In an online article from LifeWay Research, Lisa Cannon Green reported on a survey of 1,500 pastors of evangelical and historically black churches in which pastors stated that their professional roles are difficult. From that research, it was found that eighty-four percent of pastors say they’re on call 24 hours a day. Eighty percent expected conflict in their church. Fifty-four percent found the role of pastor frequently overwhelming. Fifty-three percent are often concerned about their family’s financial security. Forty-eight percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle. Twenty-one percent feel their church has unrealistic expectations of them (Green, 2015).

Missionaries, Religious non-profits and Christian Counselors

If the pastorate is this hard, imagine for a moment the added stressors that missionaries face: living in a different country or continent from their friends and family members, dangers they face if working in a place where proclaiming the gospel could cost them their lives, facing illnesses in third world countries with limited medical help, just to name a few.

Ministry non-profits are also hard as they often depend on the financial support of donors and the work is often done with volunteers. The hours are long and there is a fine line between operating as a business or a ministry. There is long-term strategic planning as well as leading the ministry through today. There are board members critiquing every decision and staff who do not always support the difficult decision that must be made. It’s leaders struggle every day with the next step to take, how to fund it, and how to lead it.

Christian counselors are also targets as they are constantly bombarded emotionally with the life-stories of their clients. They often carry around with them the emotional pain their clients experience. Some even end up with secondary post-traumatic stress disorder.

Volunteer ministry work

Even if your ministry is leading a small group, mentoring, or providing care in the church nursery, serving as a foster parent, or vacuuming the church carpet, the demands on your time, emotions, and energy can become overwhelming at times. You started this volunteer ministry work with passion and zeal but when you reach burnout, your passion and zeal become dread and filled with apathy and indifference. What once was compassion for those you served has become detachment and tolerance.

It doesn’t matter if your ministry is full-time, part-time, or volunteer. At some point, you will experience some level of stress, burnout, or compassion fatigue. It is one of the enemy’s best plan of attack to keep you from achieving what God has called you to do.

Satan’s scheme

In this scheme, Satan lies to us and says, “You’re the only person who can do this and do it right. If you let someone else do this task, they will get it all wrong.” He keeps us busy doing as many good things of God as he can to the point our calendars are full, and we have no time to renew our minds or our strength. The more he can get us to say “yes” to, the sooner we will reach burnout and quit so that we are no longer on the battlefield. And if we are busy doing many things, it prevents us from being the experts in the specific ministry to which we are called.

Satan is willing to take a few loses along the way

It’s the idea of losing a few souls in an attempt to win the entire battle. Yes, you’ll win some souls to Christ, but he’s willing to sacrifice a few souls if it means he can cause you to walk away from your ministry and all the other souls that need you and are waiting for you to reach them. His mission is to keep you from winning as many souls for God as possible, but he knows he will lose some to the Kingdom of God. He’d rather lose a few then all, so by attacking you and bringing you to the point of burnout and/or compassion fatigue, he can get you off the battlefield all together or make you ineffective when you are on it.

Self-care course and coaching

$399.00 $199.50

Coming December 2021!

Pre-order for a 50% discount. You will get the complete set of downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

Pre-order now to receive a 50% discount! (Releasing December 2021)

You will get the complete downloadable self-care video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions.

We know that ministry is hard! When you serve in ministry as staff or volunteer, you are on a spiritual battlefield 24/7. As you serve God, you fight for the Kingdom of God and our adversary is constantly attacking. He wants you to either lose your effectiveness in your ministry role or get you to quit. We must be sure we are reconnecting to the Vine (Jesus) so that we can refill, renew, and recharge. Then we can keep on pouring into others.

If you are feeling like you are losing the fight or struggling to stay in the fight, Jesus says to you, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) Self-care is both Biblical and necessary, if you are going to stay in the fight and be effective in the Kingdom of God. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue are real weapons that the adversary uses against us.

Even if you do not serve in ministry, if you are a Christian, you too are in a spiritual battle. Every Christian fights the same adversary and our Biblical self-care principles are for every Christian.

What you get in this self-care course:

In Part 1 of this video-based course, you will learn about the spiritual dangers in ministry, discover if God is testing you or is Satan attacking you, understand that ministry is battlefield and how to be steadfast, immovable on the battlefield, learn how the devil uses his wiles and schemes against us, and remember how to use your Spiritual Armor. We will also breakdown stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Part 2 is all about Preventing and Recovering from Burnout and Compassion Fatigue as we go through six areas that need self-care. In this part of the course we will provide you with practical ways that you can immediately begin practicing self-care. As you continue to serve God in whatever way He has called you, self-care is vital if you are not going to grow weary in doing good so you can reap at the proper time (Galatians 6:9).

Additionally, this packaged deal will provide 10 group coaching session where we will discuss the weekly assigned videos and do check-ins on where you are in each of the six areas of self-care that include: Spiritual, Sensory, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Releasing in December 2021, this packaged deal will include the complete video-based course plus 10 group coaching sessions with the author, Julia Bruce. In the 10-week program you will complete weekly videos and assignments and then meet virtually for a group coaching session to help you apply self-care where you need it. 

But wait! That’s not all! Check out this Bonus to the self-care course and coaching program.

BONUS: While this course and group coaching is not releasing until December 2021, if you’re purchasing this material, we know you need help now. So, if you purchase before the release date, we’ll place you in our new private Facebook membership page for free through the end of 2021. In January, this group will require a monthly subscription of $19.99. But it will be yours free through the end of year when you purchase the pre-release of the course and group coaching sessions.  

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<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

Here in Florida, it does not feel like fall yet, but September is here and that means we are growing our fall line of t-shirt designs. Check out these two new designs:

Sweater weather

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See our other fall designs:

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When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

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Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

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2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

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Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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