The Heart of Ministry
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23
Several years ago, God began growing a passion in my heart to come alongside women – especially young women – with the call of God on their lives. To mentor and encourage them, as I’d longed to be mentored as a 19-year-old youth pastor’s wife.
But how to do it? That was the question.
As the dream began to take shape, I imagined an online gathering place that featured powerful heart-transforming resources but also virtual mentoring by amazing Christian women from all levels of ministry.
“Wellspring: Tending the Heart of Ministry” was the name the Lord gave me along with three essential focuses:
SOURCE: Nurturing our faith
“Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again.” John 4:14 NLT
OVERFLOW: Guarding our spirits
“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34 NKJV
STOREHOUSE: Providing practical tools
“A good man brings good things…” Matthew 12:35
Unfortunately, the full-fledged website I dreamed of hasn’t materialized. But redesigning my own site gives me the opportunity bring this type of ministry to you – at least in a small way – and I’m really excited about that!
Periodically, I’ll post Wellspring interviews on my blog. Recorded with ministry women whom I’ve admired up close and from afar, you’ll hear how they balance work and home, invest in their marriages, and most of all, tend their relationship with Jesus. For ministry – and life! – begins in the heart and flows from there. Those interviews will be archived on the podcast page as well.
Still in development, we hope to fill this page with useful resources that you can use. When I feature a ministry topic on my blog, we’ll archive the resources on this page along with “Best of the Best” ideas and ministry tools that come from you.
The Inspiration & the Call
To close, I’d like to share part of the inspiration behind WELLSPRING. It comes from a tale called “The Keeper of the Spring,” a favorite story of Peter Marshall, a well-known pastor and chaplain of the Senate back in the 1940s. Here’s how tell it in my book, Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out.
The quaint little village lay nestled high in the Austrian Alps. Surrounded by emerald forests and alpine peaks, it had become a favorite of tourists wanting to escape city life. Located in the center of town was a glistening pond fed by a stream that wound down from the mountains high above. Each summer, beautiful white swans floated across its sparkling depths as townsfolk and visitors sat on its grassy banks. The whole place was paradise, some said. Absolute paradise.
But one evening, as the town council met to review its budget, one mem¬ber pointed to an expense no one had noticed before. “Keeper of the Spring,” the line read. “What’s that?” he asked. “Just an old man who lives up the mountain,” another answered. “Not quite sure what he does. Something to do with the spring and the city’s water supply.” Perhaps this was an area where they could save money, they reasoned. And so they sent word that the old man’s services would no longer be needed.
At first, nothing seemed to change. The pond was not quite as clear as it had been, but no one really noticed. But by the following spring, when the swans didn’t return, several commented. Others wondered about the yellowish brown tint of the water and the odor that wafted up when the weather was just right. Tourist reservations lagged, and the town council contemplated a national ad campaign. But no one thought anything about the old man on the mountain—until the day a curious few hiked up to the source of the spring.
Along the way, they noticed rocks and debris blocking the water’s flow, but the real problem lay at the spring itself. Its once bubbling depths were now still and dark, clogged with rotting leaves and forest litter—the very things the old man had spent his summers working so faithfully to remove.
And that’s when everyone realized.
No one was more important to the town than the Keeper of the Spring.
Retold by Joanna Weaver – Having a Mary Spirit
Guard your heart, my friend. Tend it carefully. For it is from that place that ministry flows. But more importantly, it is in that place God wants to rule and reign.
All my love!