What does it mean to prepare to become a Soul Surgeon? What does it take?
First, it takes the ability to create a safe environment for God to work. This is so much more than having a comfortable meeting place; it is about you! Are you the kind of leader people can open up to? Do people share there personal lives with you? If they don’t, it might be that you are missing some key components in your leadership. Perhaps shame and control filter in at times when you talk with people. Or maybe you are fearful and operate out of a program-based mentality rather than a relational framework for ministry. The chapter, “Preparing for Surgery,” in Soul Surgeon will help you examine these issues.
To help wounded people, we must be able to offer them some understanding of the age- old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Granted, there is no perfect answer to this question, but the chapter, “Why We Hurt Each Other,” in Soul Surgeon should be helpful in understanding why abuse and neglect happens.
In “The Healing Process,” you will begin to understand the journey. I would never go on a road trip without a road map. I wish I had had a road map for my healing journey, too. This healing process chapter is a key to understanding the internal shifts that must happen to restore health to our wounded hearts. In this process, we move from reacting to the world, acknowledging that we have been wounded, to taking responsibility for our own lives instead of blaming others. We must recognize wounds that need to be healed, in order to ask God to heal them; and we must acknowledge the way we have reacted sinfully to the wounds we have experienced, in order to be forgiven.
Personally, I never really understood the power of confessing my sins to God and asking for his forgiveness. It wasn’t that I thought I was perfect. It was that I couldn’t identify what was really wrong with me in order to ask God to come into that broken place and restore it. I might have cried repeatedly about not loving God enough, but I had no understanding of what I had done to shut off my heart. Without that revelation, without the words to ask for help, I was unable to move on. And years ago I certainly would have never confessed my deep, dark, dreadful sins to another. Neither did anyone else then, but now there has been a shift in the evangelical church, and we are beginning to understand and practice the healing discipline of confessing our sins to another, and praying for our healing.
In the context of these more intimate relationships, we need to make sure we have healthy boundaries. Often, out of fear, many leaders have erected walls instead of boundaries. Sometimes labeled “a professional distance,” walls are ineffective ways of protecting our hearts. Godly personal boundaries keep the bad out while letting the good in. We can all do with more good inside of us.
Who we have become (who those you minister to have become) is to a large measure influenced by “family”. Intuitively we know this. How many young people have said of a comment by their mother or father, “I’ll never say that to my children,” only to find their parent’s words coming out of their own mouths? Our relating styles, how we deal with conflict, and how we understand the world are influenced by our families.
To Find out More read Soul Surgeon by Cheryl Shea.