I went to the doctor the other day, not because I was sick, but because I’m married to a hypochondriac. She’s a nurse, and so she knows everything that can go wrong with the human body. It’s annoying, but I guess she likes me enough to keep me around.
So I went for a physical and was gone in minutes because I am actually healthy. This time at least. To get in to see my primary care physician for a physical takes weeks. He’s busy and has a lot of patients. But nonetheless, every year I give a partial Friday afternoon for that “fingers crossed moment” of his report on how I’m doing and what I need to change. It is important. I have a wife and 2 kids. I need to do whatever I can to be able to take care of them, go on adventures, wrestle, laugh, clean, and bandage. But it starts with going to the professional to tell me if I need to do anything differently or keep doing what I’m doing to be healthy.
My entire life I have had a primary care physician. But I never really considered how fortunate I am to have someone regularly checking in on me to see if I’m doing alright physically. Most of the time I viewed him as my lifeline when my body was broken or was in need of something slowing down its deterioration. But he is the pro, and I trust his years of schooling and experience to keep me healthy(ish).
But what about soul care? He can’t really help me there. But it’s important too, right? I spend a lot of money on office visits and time researching health insurance, but I wish I had the same intensity for the care of my soul. I mean, yeah, I go to church. Heck, I work at one. I spend time reading the Bible, praying, serving, and talking about Jesus. But do I have a soul care physician? I’ve heard a lot of people talk about their mentors and I’ve even helped connect mentors and mentees. But do I honestly have someone who is regularly checking on me and the state of my soul?
Most of my ministry life has been spent without one. Sure I’ve had senior pastors and leaders in my life who have impacted me through various conversations and teachings, but the only consistency and intentionality behind it was because we were in ministry together and spent time in meetings. So many meetings. But no office visits were scheduled to check on the health of my soul. I feel like I’m Timothy waiting for Paul.
I don’t really feel like I need to make a case that your soul is important and resultantly the intentional care of it is obvious. What I do want to make a case for is how important it is to you and your family to have a soul care physician. I’ve spent way too much time wishing or praying for a soul care physician. Someone that would check in on me. Someone that knew my rhythm with Jesus. Someone that knew the state of my marriage. Someone that knew my difficulty and joy of fathering. Someone that pursued me because I was worth being pursued. But honestly, it didn’t happen for over a decade in ministry. And my soul took a toll. Life is hard. Ministry is hard. For some reason, probably Satan, I never made it a priority to find one. I realized I had to seek out a soul care physician just like I had to seek out a primary care physician. My doc didn’t ask me to be his patient. I asked him to be my doc. I needed to stop waiting and sitting in my self-pity and find someone that could care for my soul. My soul depends on it. My family depends on it. My ministry depends on it.
Do you have a soul care physician? If not, stop waiting for one. Maybe the Lord will send one, and perhaps He already has. But if not, in the meantime, start doing some research and find one that can give you the care you need. Start now. It needs to be at the top of your to-do list and shouldn’t come off until you’ve found one.
2 Timothy 3:10
“But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.”
David has been working in youth ministry for over a decade and is convinced that students aren’t just the future church, but they’re the current church. And they matter now. He and his wife, Elise, have two young boys, Judah and Levi, that are energetic and insane. They live in Detroit, MI and spend most of their time pursuing shenanigans outdoors and collecting vinyl records.