Possessing and taking care of your soul-Are you a pastor?

By your patience possess your souls. —Luke 21:19

  1. What does it mean to “Possess My Soul through Self-Care and Mentorship?”

a. Self-care is the process of establishing routines, coping mechanisms, deploying the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, solitude, silence, chastity, and meditation, as well as procedures that ensure that your mind, body, and spirit are healthy (I Cor 6: 19-20 NIV; Donahue, 1996, pp. 51-52; McMinn, M. R., Lish, R. A., Trice, P. D., Root, A. M., Gilbert, N., & Yap, A,., 2010: (Staley, Mcminn, Gathercoal, & Free, 2012). Spiritual transformation occurs to our souls as we utilize these disciplines (Baker, 1998, pp. 139-140).  According to Rikli, (2010) the process of feeding her spirit through the spiritual disciplines, and taking care of her body through eating correctly and exercising is another resource that demonstrates self-care. Taking care of one’s self is essential to spiritual and physical stability. Avoiding burn out is facilitated by self-care (Wilson & Hoffman, n.d., What is Shepherd’s care?). The Lord left us that example when he left the crowds for periods of solitude and prayer ; as well as mentorship through his discussions with His Heavenly Father were “spirit and life to Him” John 6:63 KJV).
b. Mentorship is a construct of holding someone accountable for their life-style and spiritual processes, but is also the vehicle through which encouragement, modeling of the spiritual disciples of the Christian life and opportunities to be heard and healed while enduring life’s battles occur (“Mentoring,” 2007, para. 2). Mentoring is an essential part of the self-care process.

2. What is the overarching purpose of “Possessing My Soul?”

a. Matthew Henry (2014) declared that Christians must be diligent to maintain their personal decorum, sustain mental health, and spiritual health (Henry, 2014 “Luke 21:19 commentary,”). Furthermore, Henry (2014) asserts that maintaining one’s composure is possessing one’s soul. Controlling your temper and taking the high road is an example of possessing your soul.
b. According to the Geneva Study Bible, possessing one’s soul is an outward demonstration of self-control or the ability to control your temper (“Luke 21:19 Commentary Geneva Study Bible,” 2014),c. Carbonell (2008) affirms both Henry (2014) and the Geneva Study Bible’s assertion that the ability to control your temper is an outward manifestation of an individual’s ability to exercise self-control (p. 199). Therefore, one purpose for possession one’s soul is to demonstrate the spiritual gift of self-control, forbearance, and gentleness (Gal 5:22-24 NIV).
c. Pastors work with people on a daily basis, and these gifts will enhance communication because they will be able to listen more intently with a temperate spirit (Petersen, 2007).  Compassion is not conveyed through anger and malice.
d. A second purpose of possessing one’s soul is; it is an essential skill when solving people puzzles. This is especially true if the pastor is a “D” type personality because “Ds” tend to become angry when they are not being heard. Developing the ability to control your temper/anger defines you as a child of God and shows your spiritual maturity of being angry without committing a sin (Eph 4:26 NLT).

3. What are the current self-care/resiliency themes being discussed in the readings and literature?

  • McMinn, M. R., Lish, R. A., Trice, P. D., Root, A. M., Gilbert, N., & Yap, A,., (2010) Posit that the current themes for self-care and resiliency are relational in nature, “ intrapersonal, family, and community”(p. 570). According to, Proeschold-Bell, Yang, Toth, Rivers, & Carder (2013) resiliency is defined as a measure of the presence of God in ministry and the daily life of a pastor (p. 878). Ellison, Roalson, Guillory, Flannelly, & Marcum (2009) define self-care and resiliency as how proficiently a pastor handles the stressors in his/her life, (p. 300). This thought process correlates with understanding how to handle the stressors in one’s life and the triggers that may lead to emotional explosions that hamper self-care and resiliency; understanding your own DiSC personality type and that of others will empower pastors to take care of their emotional and spiritual well-being as well as their congregants (Carbonell, 2015). Meek, McMinn, Brower, & Burnett (2003 proposed that being intentional in self-care as it relates to the spiritual disciplines and fostering healthy relationship are all hallmarks of self-care and resiliency.

4. How does one identify, solicit, and engage mentorship?

One identifies a mentor by ascertaining whether or not the person is growing in the spirit, trustworthy, honest, and vulnerable enough to take ownership of their mistakes (Krejcir, 2008, para. 1). Mentorship is engaged according to the needs of the mentee. (para. 1). Solicit the mentorship of an individual who understands the importance of remediation and individual intervention; a person who will launch an intervention for you – in love – as needed. Mentees must engage the services of a mentor who understands how to utilize the SFPC process in counseling (Krejcir, 2008, para. 1; Kollar, 1997).

5. What self-care and mentorship strategy best fits your current soul-care context?

The self-care and mentorship strategy that best fits this writer is the SPFC model. It speaks to the soul of the person as well as their emotional needs (Krejcir, 2008, para. 1; Kollar, 1997). The spiritual disciplines and a deep understanding of the disciplines will help any Christian to growth vertically with their Heavenly Father and horizontally with humanity (Rikli, 2010). The self-care strategy of being disciplined in monitoring what is eaten and physical activity is crucial to the maintenance of anyone’s physical health. Understanding their personal limitations based on their physical health and knowing when to stop engagement in activities that will impair their health is essential to longevity, and the kingdom mission (Rikli, 2010).


Baker, H. (1998). Soul keeping; Ancient paths of spiritual direction. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress.Carbonell, M. (2015). What is the everything DiSC Profile? Retrieved August 31, 2015, from https://www.onlinediscprofile.com/what-is-the-disc-profile/Donahue, B. (1996). Leading Life-Changing Small Groups. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.Ellison, C. G., Roalson, L. A., Guillory, J. M., Flannelly, K. J., & Marcum, J. P. (2009). Religious resources, spiritual struggles, and Mental Health in a nationwide sample of PCUSA clergy. Pastoral Psychology, 59(3), 287-304. doi:10.1007/s11089-009-0239-1Kollar, C. A. (1997). Solution-focused pastoral counseling: An effective short-term approach for getting people back on track. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.Krejcir, R. J. (2008). What to look for in a mentor. Retrieved from http://www.discipleshiptools.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=42629&columnid=4216McMinn, M. R., Lish, R. A., Trice, P. D., Root, A. M., Gilbert, N., & Yap, A. (2005). Care For Pastors: Learning From Clergy and Their Spouses. Pastoral Psychology, 53(6), 563-581. doi:10.1007/s11089-005-4821-yMeek, K. R., McMinn, M. M., Brower, C. M., & Burnett, T. D. (2003). Maintaining personal resiliency: Lessons learned from evangelical protestant clergy. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 31(4), 339-347. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/223672186?accountid=12085Mentoring. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.discipleshiptools.org/pages.asp?pageid=64822Petersen, J. (2007). Why don’t we listen better? Communicating & connecting in relationships. Lincoln City: Petersen Publications.Proeschold-Bell, R. J., Yang, C., Toth, M., Rivers, M. C., & Carder, K. (2013). Closeness to God among those doing God’s work: A spiritual well-being measure for clergy [Abstract]. Journal of Religion and Health J Relig Health, 53(3), 878-894. doi:10.1007/s10943-013-9682-5Rikli, M. (2010, Summer). Soul care [PDF]. Valley Forge: The Ministers Council.Staley, R. C., Mcminn, M. R., Gathercoal, K., & Free, K. (2013). Strategies employed by clergy to prevent and cope with interpersonal isolation. Pastoral Psychology, 62(6), 843-857. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11089-012-0473-9Wilson, M., & Hoffman, B. (n.d.). Shepherd Care: Preventing ministry failure by supporting ministers. Retrieved from http://www.shepherd-care.org/

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