By Heidi Goehmann

God created us as curious people. We look at the world around us and want to know more. When we gaze at the stars in the sky, His creation astounds us.

We naturally are intrigued by TV shows, books, articles, or hobbies. Even introverts were created for meaningful conversation.

Sometimes natural curiosity gets bogged down by lack of time and energy, particularly when family needs or church needs begin to drain us.

Mentally, physically, or emotionally, we can begin to shut down when life gets overwhelming.

Thoughts invade:

“I can not serve one more person, one more need, contemplate one more deep thought, be a witness to one more struggle.”

God offers us encouragement and an answer in His Spirit.

“ … to be renewed in the Spirit of your minds …”

Eph. 4:23

This renewing of our minds is not just about putting off the old self of hedonism and putting on the new self of compassion and concern for others.

His work in us isn’t Him teaching, training, and judging whether we’re putting off our old self correctly.

The trade given to us on the cross of Christ Jesus is a life lived in the grace, mercy, and peace of Christ! His promise is renewal each day in the light of forgiveness, mercy each morning.

The burden of working it all out perfectly is lifted. We are freed to think on Christ with new curiosity.

Yes, the world weighs heavy on our hearts and minds, but we are free to take a moment in the midst of it and reflect on creation, saying, “Wow, God! Beautiful.”

We are free to pick up a book, even a novel, and praise Him for the gift of writing and words.

We are free to plant flowers and cook meals with His abundance, and we may get downright creative about it.

We are free to share and discuss and contemplate the deep and meaningful as well as the simple and mundane matters of life because He is in it all.

We are free to watch a funny show or a good movie and feel refreshed.

There are powerful ways that ministry families in particular can encourage and refresh their intellectual well-being.

I am sure there are more than two, but here are my suggestions to make a huge difference in the midst of ministry life:

1. Join a small group Bible study that you do not lead.

While this sometimes seems impossible in many circumstances, it’s worth the effort and creativity it might take.

Studying God’s Word is essential to our growth, as you already know.

Studying God’s word in a safe, transparent environment, where even the church worker is free to ask and discover, is spiritually and intellectually renewing.

It’s exactly what is talked about in Ephesians 4.

In ideal situations, you would participate in at least one Bible study group that you don’t have to lead or host, but I know that’s not always realistic.

Ask God to provide people in your ministry or community who can lead and minister to you in this way.

Join an online small group Bible study, or invite a trustworthy friend to study with you in person, or even by text message or email, once a week.

2. Find something not church-related that you enjoy and do it!

This can be as diverse as being a Star Trek fanatic, hiking, traveling, or reading books. We believe God is in all of our lives, not just the church structure.

He does not rest in walls and isn’t held in human hands. I’m not suggesting we discover Him outside of His Word, but I am suggesting that He has knit Himself into each and every aspect of our life.

Go and discover! This renews the mind and spirit, and it is a gift from Him.

Energy and time will always be an issue. God invites us, in His grace, to renew our minds in the Spirit and through His Word.

Thereby we are refreshed for His work in the Kingdom, better able to serve Him in our families, communities, and churches.