By Heidi Goehmann

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:3-4)

Working in the church is a great blessing. You get to spend most of your time in your favorite place, and you get to tell others about your favorite person – Jesus.

But church work is not without challenges, and one of them is being so connected to sharing the Word of God that we forget it is speaking to us as children of God as well.

We are baptized children of God. That is who we are. We are His much loved sons and daughters, heirs to the promise. We are temples of His Holy Spirit.

As human men and women, we are surrounded by a constant influx of images by a culture and media that try to convince us we are something different – consumer, parent, friend, worker.

But these are not our identity. They are very good and wonderful vocations, but they are not our identity.

Media also often gives us the message that we are not good enough at the parent thing, the spouse thing, the worker thing, the any-thing.

God tells us the reverse. He tells us our identities – who we are and why we matter – are firmly planted in Him and by Him.

He tells us that in our Baptisms we are enough, because He is enough. He is the One who fills us with everything we need.

When we are weak then He is strong, and He shines best in our weaknesses and struggles.

God turns everything into something He will use for His Kingdom work, not just the things we think of as church work.

As church workers and ministry families we need not present some perfect image. When we share with one another who we are as real people in Christ, we also bear one another’s burden.

By letting our members and community know that we are imperfect but forgiven and set free, they are encouraged that Christ works this in their own lives as well.

We can deal with the dirty and the messy of life and its challenges, the church and its challenges because we have a sure and certain foundation.

We know who we are in Christ. This is the foundation of wellness, and it is a beautiful gift of His grace.

We can’t earn it or strive for it. It just is.

At the end of the day, we are well because Christ has proclaimed us well.

We may need to work on our finances, hash out our communication with that family or congregation member, eat better and exercise more, but our souls, our hearts, and all that really matters is well in Christ.

So from here we can move on to all the areas of our lives and let Christ infiltrate them — our relationships, our physical well-being, our emotions, all of it.

Because we know our core is well and who we are is well, we can investigate and grow and work on all those other areas.

This is grace upon grace wellness. Doesn’t it sounds like a great place to start?