In a 2016 article for Ministry Matters, United Methodist pastor Joseph Yoo writes, “John Wesley would open up all small group meetings with the question “How is it with your soul?” That’s a far deeper question than, “How are you?”
I mean, how is your soul doing? How is your spirit faring? Really, how are you?
It’s a jarring question because we often ask, “How are you?” out of habit and usually get impatient when someone has the nerve to actually tell us how they are doing.
Perhaps it’s a question we like to avoid because answering it forces us to really take stock on the health of our souls — which often leads to admitting that we may not be doing as well as we want others to think.”
We find ourselves beginning the program year at First Congregational Church of Stamford with many familiar things: worship, Sunday school, Bible study, Thrift Shop, ministry team meetings, and Prudential Council meetings. Other things seem less familiar and more uncertain: talk about selling our building, meetings of a “restart” team, a budget process that’s more complicated than usual because these big questions of space, location, and identity that have seemed settled for so long are now much less so, which makes it harder to plan income and expenses.
In times like these it’s important we ask ourselves and each other, “How is it with your soul?”
Rev. Yoo continues, “This question steers me to analyze my life and my habits. What are the things that I’m engaging in that bring my soul closer God? What are the things that I’m doing that are putting a wedge between God and myself? What are the things that I’m doing in my life that really make my soul shine brightly and flourish? What are things I’m engaged in that are draining the life out of my soul?”
How is it with your soul? In these unsettling times it’s important that each one of us prioritizes those things that bring spiritual health and wellness.