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Kansas District Educational Services is here to serve congregations and schools in the following ministry areas: elementary and early childhood education, children's & family ministry, adult education, youth ministry, and adult singles ministry.  Thank you for visiting us today.  May God richly bless you and keep you in His grace!

Contact Information

Jim Bradshaw, Assistant to the President for Educational Services

Tami Lierz, Administrative Assistant
785-357-4441 ext. 200
800-357-4421 ext. 200

Sabbatical Project Summary: "It is Well with My Soul...or is it?"  by James Bradshaw

Do full-time church workers take time to rest, renew, and be restored?  So many Lutheran Pastors and educators become workaholics.  I am one of them!  This is easily done because there is so much to do and so many demands on our time.  As a result of experiencing high levels of stress in my life, I set out to explore congregational best practices that foster healthier spiritual wellness for church workers and their families.

Here is a summary of what I discovered along the way of my sabbatical, through interviews with key church leaders and various readings: 

Best Practices

1. Take care of your soul!  Daily remember your baptism – remember who you are and WHOSE you are!

2.  Establish a congregational sabbatical policy and employ this practice for all church workers of your congregation/school. This sabbatical has afforded me the opportunity to rest, renew, and rediscover the depth of God’s grace in my life. 

3.  The journey of spiritual wellness is in Christ.  Attend a Grace Place Retreat and be spiritually renewed!  (They are available for single workers of the church as well as for married workers and their spouse).  

4.  Create a “Rule of Life” for yourself, other staff members (if applicable), and leaders in your church/school.  By cultivating an intentional life with Christ, you embrace intentionally focused time for silence, prayer, meditation on Scripture, and reading.  

5.  Ask your congregational/school leaders to identify a Worker Support Team (WST) for each of your workers. These care teams/individuals can offer regular prayer support and provide on-going encouragement for each worker. 

6.  Finally, follow the basics from the National Institute of Health, as they pertain to physical renewal (diet AND exercise).  

What will Lutheran Pastors, educators, congregations and schools do to make this a reality?  Will you say that this is too much of a dream; it will never happen?  Or will you accept the challenge to change what is happening now and present a plan to your congregation/school?  Having completed this sabbatical experience, I can boldly proclaim today:  “It IS well with my soul!”

Download complete Sabbatical Report