Church Ministry Essentials

Module 10:

Strategic Soul Care

The work of justice and mercy will inevitably be short-lived if sustained by passion alone. Ultimately, vibrant ministry springs from healthy souls. In this module you will explore principles and strategies for cultivating a vibrant inner life rooted deep in Christ for yourself, your team and the families you serve.

In this module, we will explore the following topics:

The Biblical Call for Rest and Renewal 

Developing a Strategic Plan for Soul Care in Our Ministries 

Resources and Opportunities for Spiritual Growth and Refreshment

And more…

Module Resources

Below is a curated collection of some of the best resources on cultivating the priority of, and a strategic plan for, soul care in your own life and in the ministries you lead. These resources are intended to serve you, not overwhelm you. Do not feel the pressure to work through all of them, but use them in a way that best helps you grow. For some modules it might mean plowing through them all, for others it might mean focusing on just a few!



The Priority of Healthy Souls

A discussion with Jedd Medefind, President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans

Watch as Jason and Jedd discuss both the personal priority of cultivating healthy souls as well as the importance of establishing this rhythm as part of the ministry culture you lead.


People of Peace in an Age of Anxiety

Jedd Medefind spotlights four simple choices that recent studies show to can significantly reduce anxiety and explores at the deeper moorings that can help us keep calm hearts in unsettling times.

Soulmates, Soul-Searching and How's Your Soul?

In the midst of the beauty and brokenness of this work of caring for vulnerable children, can we say, “It is well with my soul”? Pastor Robert Gelinas asks “How’s Your Soul?” in a talk presented at CAFO’s 2019 Summit.

Resilience: Finding Wholeness in Ministry by Way of the Cross

Helping people get in touch with what’s true and what’s real, and how the soul is the most real part of you. Presented by Ruth Haley Barton.

People of Mind, Body and Spirit

Jedd Medefind unpacks what a fully integrated healthy soul is – consisting of all of our mind, body and spirit.


Part 1 w/ Dr. Curt Thompson: Small Daily Choices Change Our Brains

The Justice and the Inner Life Podcast

Both Scripture and Neuroscience affirm that small daily choices, consistently made over time, changing the makeup and operation of how our brains work. Our hope? To fill our days with choices that form our minds more into the image of the mind of Jesus.

Part 2 w/ Dr. Curt Thompson: Intentionally Encountering Beauty

The Justice and the Inner Life Podcast

We were created for beauty – to see and savor it as well as to create and demonstrate it. Listen as Dr. Curt Thompson encourages us to put ourselves in the path of on-coming beauty every day so that our souls and our minds might be more attentive to the things we are paying attention to and working to make sense out of those things we are sensing.

An Invitation to Rest

The Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast with Ruth Haley Barton

Jesus’ invitation to come away with Him and rest is not a suggestion, but a necessity. It’s also not a burden, but an opportunity to encounter that space where our souls can be filled – not just for the continuation of ministry – but moreso for the enjoyment of knowing Him deeply and intimately.

The Real Source of a Deep Fulfilling Life w/ John Eldredge

The Justice and the Inner Life Podcast

What is the wellspring of a truly good life? Listen as John Eldredge inspires us to find a full and adventurous life that is rooted in smaller, daily choices that spring from a healthy soul.

Articles + PDFs

Developing a Strategic Plan for Thriving Souls Within the CAFO Community

No factor is more critical to the success of an organization than the vitality of the people within it. All else flows from it. Creativity, attentiveness, hope, love, endurance and a hundred other traits essential to success rise naturally from a thriving soul. In this – and only in this – can we embody the vision we seek to effect in the world.

The Fight for Social Justice Starts Within

This is the crossroads at which we stand. Will we simply strain onward, hoping that passion and hard labor will carry our work for a lifetime? Or will we set one commitment above even the noble calling of justice: an inner life rooted deep in Christ? That is as costly, and simple, as small daily choices—decisions that become habits over time.

What Every Soul Needs

John Ortberg says we “live on the planet of lost souls” and identifies what he calls the “nine needs of the soul.”

Everyone Can Do Something

Addendum: "The Fight for Social Justice Starts Within"

Christians have, at various points in history, sorted the ideas of justice and the inner life into opposing categories—action versus contemplation. In their volume Spirituality for the Sent, editors Nathan Finn and Keith Whitfield argue that recent trends in missional living and spiritual formation are encouraging, yet often unconnected. “If more intentional intersection was to occur,” the Southeastern Baptist Theological Semi- nary professors write, “it would only strengthen both movements.” 


Action Guides and Exercises


A Strategic Plan for Soul Health

Exploring practical training, procedures and nexts step you can take in your ministry.


God's Rhythm for Calm Hearts Team "Retreat"

We’ve come to see how powerful a soul care retreat can be for a ministry team. Gods Rhythms for Calm Hearts in Anxious Times is intended to help your team experience its own staff soul care retreat. Download and consider planning a “retreat” for the team or ministry you lead. Simply identify the time and space for your team or group to meet – whether in person or virtually – and any other personal touches you’d want to add.

God’s Rhythms for Calm Hearts in Anxious Times is offered free of charge for any CAFO member organization or church team.

Resource Spotlight

“I’m tired of helping others enjoy God.” “I just want to enjoy God for myself.” With this painful admission, Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls.

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

Weaving together contemporary illustrations with penetrating insight from the life of Moses, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership explores topics such as

  • responding to the dynamics of calling
  • facing the loneliness of leadership
  • leading from your authentic self
  • cultivating spiritual community
  • reenvisioning the promised land
  • discerning God’s will together

Each chapter includes a spiritual practice to ensure your soul gets the nourishment it needs. Forging and maintaining a life-giving connection with God is the best choice you can make for yourself and for those you lead.

Request a Coaching Session

You and your team have the opportunity to request a coaching call facilitated by Jason Johnson. 

Simply click the button below to start the process. 

Come ready with questions to ask and ideas to discuss! (limited spots available)

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