In the book of Luke, Jesus is asked to identify the greatest commandment. “He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
In his answer, Jesus also highlights four key aspects of our personal lives: spiritual (heart and soul), physical (strength), mental (mind), and relational (neighbor). Staying healthy in all four of these areas keeps us refreshed and ready to handle the demands of our ministry calling.
Scripture shows that Jesus Himself developed in each of these areas when He was a teenager:
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and all the people.” Luke 2:52
Part 1 of this article outlined how to stay spiritually and physically strong, and here we’ll cover the second two key areas of your soul care—the mind and relationships—and give you some practical suggestions to live them out.
“‘…with all your mind…’”
- Read books.
Tip: Some great examples are Faith for Exiles (David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock), Winning the War in Your Mind (Craig Groeschel), Thriving Youth Groups (Jeanne Mayo), or Good to Great (Jim Collins).
- Listen to podcasts.
Tip: Check out: The Greg Stier Youth Ministry Podcast, Youth Ministry Download, The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast, and The FYI on Youth Ministry.
- Meet with mentors.
Tip: Seek out people who are farther ahead than you are in their career or spiritual journey.
- Go to conferences or seminars.
Tip: Apply to attend the Gospel Advancing Summit in Estes Park, Colorado. Click here to find out more.
“‘…love your neighbor as yourself.’”
- Take the neighbor challenge: Meet a neighbor you’ve never talked to, and build a relationship.
- Join a network, small group, or accountability group.
- Prioritize family time.
Tip: Be creative, thoughtful, and intentional about how you’re spending time with your family (biological or not).
- Take time to have fun with others.
Tip: Plan adventures (kayaking, escape rooms, travel) and rejuvenating activities (book club, walks, coffee dates).
Which of these four areas—physical, spiritual, relational, mental—are you strongest in? Which needs the most growth? Take some time to think or journal about that.
Then take a few minutes to write down at least one specific, measurable goal for each of the four areas (physical, spiritual, relational, mental). The more specific you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Lastly, talk to God about these goals and how best to refresh your spirit.