“Are you keeping well?” How often we use this greeting with friends or acquaintances in polite conversation. I think we all have the desire to be “well” and wish it for others also. But what do we really mean by well? In one of John’s short letters in the New Testament he writes, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2).
Wellness as a currency means creating opportunities for people to be restored and renewed both spiritually and in other ways. We need to develop this currency in order to help accomplish God’s desire for each of us to experience his shalom (wholeness, wellness, peace). Growing spiritually is a key contributor to personal and emotional wellness. Seeing the wellness of people increased is an important and desired outcome of our ministries. How do we do this?
As Eric Law states it so well in his book Holy Currencies, “Developing the currency of wellness means creating opportunities for people to rest, play, celebrate, give thanks and encounter each other…” As part of a church’s agenda, we need to plan for “wellness events”, and think of wellness as an outcome or goal for an activity both for our members and others in our communities. For example, recently Trinity hosted and facilitated a special workshop on the topic of “How to support a grieving family member or friend” and was held at the Newtown Library. This was designed to bring wellness to people struggling with grief issues.
Wellness events come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Church or personal retreats are one example. Providing pastoral counseling, spiritual direction and programs like Stephen Ministries are another. Small groups and fellowship gatherings are helpful as well. Each of us as members of Trinity needs to take seriously the biblical principle of sabbatical rest in terms of a healthy rhythm of work/rest/re-creation. We need to pay attention to our physical well-being which so affects our emotional and even spiritual well-being.
The currency of truth is the primary exchange in the development of wellness. Internally truth events serve to diagnose the wellness of our church community. When there are conflict and hurts, lack of unity, or discouragement we need to be aware and seek to address these as a path to wellness. Externally, truth events help us to discern the needs that exist in the wider community. The currency of truth pushes us out of denial and helps us to see the reality of our church or wider community. Wellness is God’s intention for each of us. We also need to infuse a commitment to wellness in everything we do.