Communications

Digital Parish: Rest for the always-on minister

Licensed social worker and minister, Lindsay Geist, shares practices of rest and healthy boundaries for digital ministers.

One of the possible pitfalls or traps of ministering in a digital parish is that our field of ministry is always active. It’s always on and accessible. By extension, those of us engaged in digital ministry can feel like we need to always be on and accessible… and working weird hours… and responding to everything immediately… and throwing a lot of our personal life into public space.

The Episode

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Ryan Dunn:

This is Pastoring in the Digital Parish. Take a breath friend. In this session of our masterclass for all things, digital ministry, we're talking personal care and boundaries with licensed social worker and minister, Lindsay Geist. One of the possible pitfalls or traps of ministering in a digital parish is that our field of ministry is pretty much always active. It's always on and accessible by extension. Those of us engaged in digital ministries can feel like we need to always be on and accessible and working weird hours and responding to everything immediately and throwing a lot of our personal life into public space.

New Speaker:

Then there are those of us who were working essentially as multi-site ministers curating both in-person and virtual communities, each community then has its own unique demands. It leaves us feeling stretched to the point of breaking. So let's get refreshed, let's get healthy, let's work on setting some good boundaries through this session of pastoring in the digital parish.

New Speaker:

Lindsey Geist is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist church, a licensed clinical social worker, and currently serving in church in transition and clinical resource as a specialist. And really Lindsey, I guess that kind of means that you provide some mental health resource and support for clergy and congregations. Is that right?

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. I do a little bit of, um, everything in some ways of wraparound services. Uh, so I help, uh, focus on wellbeing for both clergy and congregations by providing congregations, um, some support around, uh, assessment of helping them identify what could be holding them up from, uh, growing or changing. Um, almost always it's some dynamics that are happening, uh, internally. Um,

Ryan Dunn:

I've heard of that happening in church a little bit. Yeah. That there are some internal dynamics that sometimes hinder the, the mission so to speak.

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. It's like we're real people, you know, and real relationships inside churches or something. Um, and then I do a lot of work around, uh, clergy well-being providing mental health support and dialogue space, making sure we're equipping clergy to know what resources they have, uh, connecting them with therapists and, uh, support groups and conversations and training all around mental health as well. Um, so a typical week can, uh, look really different depending on the week of what kind of support needs are present at that moment

Ryan Dunn:

In that second part of your role, the clergy and ministry wellbeing support, uh, have you felt like there's been a shift or a tilt there in over the course of the past year and a half?

Lindsay Geist:

Definitely. Um, my role started in July of 2020, um, you know, kind of at a crucial time. Um, it was,

Ryan Dunn:

It was envisioned,

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah, it was envisioned, uh, pre that time. Um, and I am grateful for the ways that God works of showing up at the exact moment. Um, and so it can, it can be, I mean, it there's just so much to say about this. Um, I had seen it, uh, seen clergy tired and weary, uh, pre pandemic because any caring profession we can get tired and weary. Um, I, I think that since the pandemic, uh, first started, um, I have seen an increased level of that. I think that anytime there's a crisis, uh, people have this resiliency and ability to, uh, kind of find energy that they didn't have before, uh, to first handle the crisis. Um, and as the crisis in some ways has not ended or felt like it's let up enough. Um, I would say that, uh, that exhaustion is increasing when there's not a clear end in sight. Yeah.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. And it seemed like at the beginning of the pandemic, it was okay to kind of go through the motions in a sense of like we had our directives from on high, uh, whether that be, you know, from the government or from church leadership. Uh, and so much of that has now been kind of deferred down to a local level where there, it seems like there's a higher level of responsibility at the local level for ministers and pastors, and that brings with it like so much more added weight. Um, I've seen a number of reports, uh, over the past few weeks or months of pastors feeling burned out. Have you been dealing with quite a bit of that in your role?

Lindsay Geist:

Yes. Uh, yes and no burnout. Yes. Um, there, and, and trying to find solutions to help care for themselves. Um, I always want to be clear about burnout burnout. Doesn't always mean that people are walking away right now. Um, so I haven't seen people at the place where lots of people are walking away. Um, I've, I've seen more and more of people asking the question about it. Um, kind of this contemplation stage, if we're going to my clinical self is going to come out in stages of change when you want to make a change or feel like a change needs to happen. There's the contemplation stage where you start weighing your pros and cons or thinking more about it or asking more questions. Um, in a lot of ways, that's where I see clergy right now of saying, I am really tired. Um, I am really exhausted. What can I do or what choices do I have to be able to, uh, move forward in best care for myself? Um, and for a number of people, uh, the phrase, you know, like maybe I'll walk away from ministry pops up, but I haven't, uh, seen lots of people at the place where they're choosing that yet.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. Yeah. And when I say that I've been seeing some burnout, I get a sense of that too, that it's kind of like, you know, I don't want to walk away. Um, but, um, you know, right now I'm not working from a place of sustainability, perhaps they're just feeling like, I don't know how much longer these conditions can endure, and that is rough. Um, what are some of the, I guess, presenting symptoms of, of burnout, or maybe they back it up even further than that? Not so much the presenting symptoms, but what are the, what are the driving factors that have that have people feeling like they're just not sure if they can keep sustaining and ministry.

Lindsay Geist:

The biggest one that I'm noticing is no breaks whatsoever. Um, there's, uh, I think back to when you, when we were in school and, uh, you would get your syllabus at the beginning of the semester and without fail that first week, when I got all of the syllabus, I would cry and say, I'm never going to make it. Um, and I would call my mom every time it was like in college grad school, everything like, I'm not going to make it to the end. Um, and then you seem to like find energy, uh, to make it to the end. And you push yourself at that final threshold, knowing that you're going to have Christmas break or summer break or something, it's like, you could find hidden energy knowing that there would be a moment of rest. I have found that for clergy right now, they are really struggling to, uh, have, or name or find or create a moment of rest.

Lindsay Geist:

And so it is harder to keep pushing if you don't have that in the future as an option. Um, uh, I also noticed that for a lot of people, the, what I would describe as the goalposts keep moving. Um, so even that end goal of maybe a break or this season, it's going to be lighter. Um, it's as though somebody picked up the goalposts and just moved it further. And, um, and so every time you get close to the end, you look around, you go, that's not the end I have to keep going. So I think no breaks. And then even the concept of things slowing down, even if it's not a full break, um, each time the goalposts or move are really something that I'm noticing right now. So those would be like the top two that I'm studying.

Ryan Dunn:

Why do you think right now it's, it's so inhibitive for us to imagine there being a break ahead. What is it that, that is different now than a couple of years ago where we were saying, you know, why don't we feel that you can take a vacation now?

Lindsay Geist:

Oh, that's a loaded question. Um, because there's, there's lots of fine. Um, it's loaded in because you know, people that are naturally helpers, um, have a hard time, uh, putting themselves first. Um, and so then you create a crisis around that and people really want to help other people, um, at the same time, it's as though people clergy can see all the influencing factors. Um, so you can't say it's going to slow down when, because we have things. I mean, you have everything from, um, the pandemic hitting of, uh COVID then you had, um, all of the black lives matter protests and movement. Um, then we had the research of COVID in the Delta variant. Um, so right when people felt like they could maybe rest that happened again. And now when I've talked to people, people mention, um, well, you know, the United Methodist church, general conference is going to happen at some point. So there's always a potential of something up ending. And that creates a lot of anxiety for people and people feeling the need to prepare. Um, and so it's hard to rest when you feel, whether in actuality or not that you have to always be preparing.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. That we're always kind of for the past year and a half, it's felt like we have been in the midst of crisis without, without ed. Okay.

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. And a crisis. Um, I think what's helpful to think about when it comes to crisis, is that a crisis is anything you deem a crisis. So it's not something that other people will define that, uh, they can, but, uh, for somebody who didn't feel like they are in crisis, it's when they feel like they no longer have, uh, tools or strategies to be able to handle the situation. Um, and even sometimes don't know how to get them.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay.

Lindsay Geist:

So there's a lot of perceived, perceived crisis happening.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. And so maybe, maybe crisis might not even be the right word, but kind of in a like inciting activities or something like that, you know, where, uh, you know, feeling a need to go back to in-person worship isn't necessarily a crisis. Uh, but it is something that might block us from feeling like we can take a break, right?

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that that's really accurate there's, um, expectations. Um, and a lot of times expectations are, uh, perceived and not communicated. And so congregations have perceived expectations of their pastor and the pastor has perceived expectations of the congregation and very rarely do they communicate with one another. Um, and, and that's, that's not just the case in churches like us as human beings, we often have, uh, poorly communicate expectations. And that's almost always when there's conflict or disappointment. Um, and we're just seeing that play out in church life.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. How have, how have pastors or ministry leaders been able to kind of open those lines of communication? Do you have some recommended practices from your office that you're able to say, like, you know, if you're feeling burned out and you need to communicate to your congregation, that you might need a break, like here's how you can start to present that.

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. I think that, um, we, we did, um, in the north Georgia conference for a couple times now, uh, we have provided letters to the SPRC chairs to recommend possible ways for, uh, congregations to support clergy. Um, because it's one thing for clergy to all the time say, um, I'm exhausted. I need a break, I need support. Um, and it's another thing for congregations to advocate for their pastors. Self-care, um, it's a way for congregations to say, I see you and I value you. Um, so I think opening that dialogue, or even sitting down at the table and saying, what are your expectations of me? Um, and helping congregation see all of the things that a pastor does, um, not, not as a way to be defensive or justify, but there's a lot of things that pastors do that people don't know what they do. Um, I had so many conversations at the beginning of the pandemic with, uh, just friends in the community saying, I keep hearing that pastors are tired, but to be honest, I'm a little confused of what they're doing all the time and which, you know, is typical. Pastors are like, I work more than Sundays, but as soon as

Ryan Dunn:

I, as soon as I,

Lindsay Geist:

As soon as I describe things like, you know, they had a lot of pastors had to learn digital ministry for the very first time. Um, people in the community, uh, started going, oh, I didn't realize they were filming everything themselves. I didn't realize they were purchasing their own, bring light and then teaching themselves how to pivot everything to a podcast form. Um, you know, I pre pandemic, I didn't have a podcast mic that I used regularly. Um, and now I do, um, because this is the platform and, uh, type of work that we do now. Um, so pastors have had to innovate a lot and I don't know if congregations have seen or known that, um, and how much creativity has been required and how much energy it takes people when we're not in a regular routine or habit, It takes so much more energy, uh, to do new things. And so in essence, all of the pandemic has required us to use more energy than we typically would in a time when we already didn't have enough energy.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Yeah. About falling into kind of a rhythm, which produces a sense of energy and for the past year and a half, like there hasn't been any kind of typical in this to what a lot of us are doing. It's been such a period of innovation and, um, and boundary pushing in a sense.

Lindsay Geist:

Yes. Yes.

Ryan Dunn:

Well, you mentioned pastoral care, pastoral care, something that can be very taxing, uh, that there can be a sense of kind of caregiver fatigue that comes about through something like that. I would imagine that in your current role where you're doing so much walking, alongside people from a congregational and pastoral standpoint, and as somebody who is licensed in social work and, um, certainly is familiar with caregiver practices, uh, how do you keep from kind of burning out on that caregiver fatigue? Like what practices help stabilize your mental health, their ward off your own burnout,

Lindsay Geist:

Uh, creating time off, um, for making sure that I'm looking at that, uh, book to be a

Ryan Dunn:

Theme here that we're going back to time off is important. It sounds like

Lindsay Geist:

Most clergy don't use, uh, the amount of vacation that they are given every year. Um, but for me in everyday life, um, I love to go for a run and, uh, that is my way to shake off the day. Um, I'm an end of day runner. Um, and during certain times, uh, over this past year and a half, um, I put an alarm on my phone, uh, towards the end of the day. Um, especially in the winter when it gets dark early to tell myself like you have to leave your desk in the next 15 minutes or else you're going to miss the window of time to go running. Um, and I try to look at my week ahead of time, um, to really figure out when I can plug it in. Um, if I'm being totally transparent, there are weeks that, uh, I haven't created all that time. Um, and I'm not the healthiest version of myself. Um, it's helpful to know when that seasonal, um, and when that's going to be a permanent thing, my other really silly technique of figuring out ways to create boundaries or practice self-care for myself is, um, color-coding my calendar, which so many friends and colleagues laugh at me about, um, because I think that Google and, um, and Gmail are out of colors and they need to provide more now with how I operate.

Ryan Dunn:

I am so glad I color-coded, oh my goodness, let's talk about this.

Lindsay Geist:

But, um, I have certain things designated certain colors. And so when I'm feeling weary, I spend my time looking back on the last couple of weeks of what colors have been present. And if it's been really unbalanced, then that tells me something. Um, if I have a certain color for a lot of, uh, social events, I am an extrovert. I like to be with people. If I have not had enough of those in my calendar for the past few weeks, that's kind of a quick visual alarm bell to me of, okay. Maybe a way to fill my soul is that if I see that every evening has been filled for a while, um, I look at that and go, okay, I clearly have had no time to do things like laundry or go to the grocery store, um, and take care of those practical things. Um, but I try to pay attention to how much free space is there and what colors are on my calendar to give me a quick snapshot of what my soul might need or might have been lacking.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Oh, you know, and that seems like it actually, that is an easy practice because for most of us, when we're utilizing a calendar, like Google calendar makes it fairly easy to color code because we pull from different places. Right. So I personally have a family calendar and work calendar in a, in a church calendar and all those already have different colors. Um, I'm kind of dreading like doing the weekend review now to see, like, is there a balance there outside? It's almost like looking at the, my plate nutrition type thing, you know, am I going to be balanced there? Probably not. So, uh, yeah,

Lindsay Geist:

It's one thing that like, if one week is imbalanced, that's not the end of the world. Um, because we all have weeks like that. If you have a number of weeks that have all been imbalanced uh that's when it's harder to rally, um, and kind of bounce back from those.

Ryan Dunn:

Yeah. Well, and that can present a great fix or at least a way of, uh, of having some positive momentum and moving forward. Because, uh, when we start thinking about sustainability and ministry, we, we tend to think that the job, the pastoral job can be the problem. Right. And, and this gives us a way to kind of review that, you know, maybe, maybe the job isn't the problem, but the way that I'm executing is no problem. Or we can look for those points of, um, uh, I'm overloading on this right now.

Lindsay Geist:

Yeah. And, and again, I think that it depends on the week, you know, there's a week that I may work three nights one week. Um, but that's real life if I do that every week, that's when I have a concern.

Ryan Dunn:

Um, well now that we have kind of transitioned into this digital first or digitally focused era, um, and we started talking about like the difference between office hours and nighttime hours, like that gets blurred quite a bit when we consider, uh, Facebook to be part of our parish. Right. Um, because Facebook is always accessible. We know that people are online at like seven o'clock, eight o'clock at night. In fact, that might be prime hours for engaging with people in terms of digital ministry. So, uh, and this podcast is for people who work in that digital space, and that can be tense because it leads to this feeling of always needing to be accessible or being always on. So how might people who are heavily engaged in digital ministry start to build some, uh, guidelines for themselves or some boundaries around their time?

Lindsay Geist:

I do think that thinking through some time boundaries are important, um, you know, maybe saying, okay, I'm going to respond to Facebook from three to 4:00 PM and then, you know, nine to nine 30 at night, um, that there's a difference between being feeling always on and being always accessible. Um, I don't think that we have to respond to everybody in real-time and we're allowed to create some guidelines for ourselves. Um, pastoring in a digital parish doesn't mean that you have to be on your phone all the time. It just means that's the space you're connecting with people. Um, you don't sit at the church all day long, um, and all evening long and assume that people can just drop by whenever you have office hours and you can create your own sort of online office hours.

Ryan Dunn:

Hmm. Have you seen some of that in practice?

Lindsay Geist:

I think that it, uh, people struggle with implementing that in practice. Um, there is this, uh, intense internal pressure to have to respond to everybody in real time. Um, you have to kind of remind yourself, you are one person versus there are lots of people attempting to interact with you. Um, if we went to a 24 hour grocery store, the same employee does not work all 24 hours. I mean, there, there are kind of like tap in and tap out times of when your shift has ended. So I believe that we can do that in a digital space. I also really believe that boundaries, um, our, our way to show love, uh, towards the people that we care for, because it requires them also to have to navigate, uh, hard things and not only rely on you responding in real time. Um, if we come in and we swoop in and save the day every time, then we're simply enabling somebody else.

Lindsay Geist:

If you say, I'm only picking up my phone, you know, I'm taking this day off for Sabbath. If there is an emergency, feel free to leave a message, but I will only be checking voicemail. Um, and I will be back the next day. Um, that's training and empowering people to start deciding what is really a crisis. And can they wait until later? Um, I've, I've been in private practice, uh, counseling practice for five years. And at the beginning, uh, I didn't go on many vacations, um, transitioning into a new job. And as time went on, um, when I would take time off, I would prep every client. I will be gone this week. Um, if you really need me, you know, sometimes you can contact me. There were some times when I give, you know, another person as an emergency contact. Um, and most of them, while I may have seen them every week for a year or two said, you know what, I I'm, I can probably handle this week and I'd see him the week after I was back.

Lindsay Geist:

And some would even share I had a really hard week, but then I remembered some of the things that we'd been working on. And I sat down and paused to really think about what I could do. Um, and I knew that I could probably make it until I went to when I saw you next, which they were, had never been, you know, expected or forced or given the opportunity to do before. Um, and I think the same thing can happen for our congregations. We, if we respond all the time in real time, we're not creating space for people to care for each other.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. So giving room to practice. Yeah. You brought up Sabbath. And one of the, I think presenting issues of the pandemic is that a lot of people in ministry have been forced into a, like a feeling of multi-site ministry where, um, they've been called to kind of a traditional parish. Uh, but now are finding that so much of their, their ministry happens in the online parish. And so they need to, uh, maintain one while trying to expand within the other sense of, of multi-site ministry, uh, in thing that you and I come from, places where we can relate to that because, um, we have, I guess, primary appointments, so to speak that are, um, that are not in a traditional parish and yet are probably doing some work within a traditional parish as well. Um, and it becomes easy to, it can be a convenience to say like, okay, so I have my nine to five job, and then this other part of my ministry, I'm going to execute, uh, outside of that time, which of course can then just completely absorb what we might consider a Sabbath. So, uh, all this is coming around to the question of like, are you able to healthily practice Sabbath? Do you, what does Sabbath look like for you?

Lindsay Geist:

Um, I laugh that, uh, I do not practice it as well, often in like two months of the year, like October without fail is my favorite month. And I almost never see it, um, because more church events or other events seem to happen in October, um, that take up some more time. Um, so I think that Sabbath for me looks different during busy seasons. Um, it may not be a whole day during a busier season, um, in quieter seasons. Um, then it can look like, um, you know, cooking something new for dinner or going for a run or reading a book. Um, during the pandemic I, when it first started and none of us were really seeing each other, I being an extrovert, I had been busy most weekends spending time with people that I love. And when I wasn't doing that as much, I started pulling out a book on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Lindsay Geist:

Cause again, non-traditional, uh, work and would read for a couple hours. I had never taken that much space for a long time. Um, and so doing something that was really filling my soul of just, uh, reading and doing something for fun, um, and not having anything on my timetable for the entire day. Um, and I've started implementing that in my more regular Sabbath pattern now where I pick a day where I really don't have anything on my agenda during the day or evening. Um, and just kind of do whatever my soul needs during the day and doing a few check-ins like, okay, what do I need to do next? What would be really helpful? Would it be helpful to go for a walk around the neighborhood or would it be helpful to, uh, you know, go sit by the pool for an hour, um, or, you know, just kind of what do I need at that moment? Um, and sometimes, uh, this is not a typical Sabbath answer, but sometimes what my soul really needs is to do a couple household chores like laundry, or like, you know, cleaning or organizing something because that really will take a weight off of me and helped me feel healthier going into the week ahead. Um, so for me, self care and Sabbath are intertwined and aren't always about doing fun stuff only. It's about doing what my soul really needs to be the healthiest it can be.

Ryan Dunn:

Okay. Yeah. Yeah. There can be a challenge between, I guess, doing the things that we think will make us feel good and doing the things that will make us feel good about ourselves, if that makes sense. Yeah. At some point we need to execute that, which is, um, maybe not necessarily in the actual zone of doing it, making us feeling good, but will make us feel good about ourselves to have that accomplished. Well, another poll of this peculiar season that we've been walking through, uh, has been that the nature or the way that we deliver pastoral care has shifted quite a bit. Um, you know, it used to be like, Hey, let's meet at the office or, uh, we can go out and grab a cup of coffee. People will still do that, but maybe they're not looking to do that first anymore. Right. That they're looking to engage digitally first. Now, are you doing much pastoral care through like digital means?

Lindsay Geist:

Um, yes. Uh, I guess kind of, yes and no. Um, I have done more pastoral care via email this past year than I ever even thought. Um, which thinking about that as additional mean means probably doesn't, uh, isn't the first thing to come to mind. Um, but it's a safe space for some people to be able to write out, uh, what they've been dealing with, um, or how hard it's been. And so people have shared a lot of, uh, more intimate and vulnerable details about their lives with may this past year via email, um, and saying, I really need some support here. Do you have a therapist you recommend, do you have any support groups? Do you know anybody that's going through something like this? Um, so I've done really unique ministry that way, I believe. Um, I've also, uh, hosted several zoom conversations put out in our conference.

Lindsay Geist:

Okay. I'm going to share some information about this topic. Um, a few months ago we shared some information about what is trauma and what does that mean? Um, and then created a zoom conversation of does anybody, if you need or want to check in or have further conversation about this, here's the zoom call, if you want to log in and we'll just kind of have a free form conversation. And we've done that a few times during the year. Um, and that has been a helpful space for people, uh, to have that I've set up other zoom and phone calls, uh, where we've kind of had coffee or I've done a lot of walking and talking, people will say, can I call you? And I'm going to go for a walk and I'll go for a walk. And then, um, we can chat about things. So, um, again, sometimes seeing people face to face, um, even via zoom, uh, and sometimes just talking to one another, uh, via the phone or email, uh, can feel safer in really hard conversations.

Lindsay Geist:

Um, so I would recommend that if you are offering a pastoral care to somebody, it, if you are a pastor doing that right now, think outside the box that it may mean bringing a folding chair to somebody's driveway for the people that want to be in person. If they're not feeling safe enough to meet somewhere, um, then doing something like that, it could be a phone call that, that, that may feel like atypical pastoral care, but it's still offering care. And honestly, email is one that I never thought that I'd be saying that I had offered a lot of pastoral care via email, but, um, for people's time and availability and vulnerability, it might be the space that people reach out to connect with. You.

Ryan Dunn:

Did you get a sense that people are listening to your podcast and, and feeling a sense of pastoral care as well?

Lindsay Geist:

Um, I hope so. Um, so I podcast with, uh, two colleagues and we have a podcast called not alone conversations on faith and wellbeing in our dialogue. Uh, we pick a faith topic, uh, and how the, and talk about how the church may have handled it or not handled it, or, uh, where we feel like our faith comes in and all of that. Um, I do believe that people are feeling heard and valued and hearing a new, fresh perspective, uh, based on conversations I've had, uh, with, with people that have said, Hey, I listened to the other day and it made me really think about it. Um, we did an episode about moving the goalposts, uh, earlier on in the pandemic. And that is one of the most listened to episodes that we have had about, uh, people really resonating with what it's like every time it feels like the goalposts keep moving.

Ryan Dunn:

Hmm. Cool. And for folks who want to check that out more, where's the, where's the most ideal point of connection or listening space?

Lindsay Geist:

I think that depends on personal preference of how people feel. Uh, so feel free to get it on, uh, apple podcasts, um, or on Spotify. Um, whatever makes your heart happy in your listening platform.

Ryan Dunn:

Well, Lindsay, one final question for you. What is one resource that is giving you life or energy? Right now?

Lindsay Geist:

I just, uh, came back recently from a retreat with a few clergy colleagues, um, that, uh, we're in a covenant group with one another and there's six of us. And our retreat was in the mountains. And our whole goal was to just be, to be with one another, uh, to eat, to fellowship together. Um, we had lots of conversations together and then there was one afternoon where we all took a book to our own part of the deck we're in silence. Um, and that group, um, we've been meeting together monthly. Um, that group has really been giving me a lot of life. It's a space where I too can say, this is hard and I need some support. Um, and, um, that resource to me, if I hope that everybody has a group of friends, whether it is clergy colleagues or, um, just other great supports and friends, uh, that you can just be with, you don't have to take care of somebody else. You can be raw and vulnerable and present. Um, that's the resource that's recently been giving me the most life.

Ryan Dunn:

Lindsay, thank you so much for being present for us today and for sharing both your experience, but also your insights on how we might be able to practice a little bit more health when it comes to kind of our mental stability and how we're engaging in this, I guess, new realm of, of ministry. So, thanks again.

New Speaker:

I'm hoping you've heard some action steps that promise some relief and refreshment for you. If this episode was meaningful for you, then I invite you to listen to more sessions of Pastoring in the Digital Parish. I think you'll like building an authentic personal brand with Sarah Heath and that session we talked about sharing and over and under sharing on social media. You might also enjoy focusing our efforts for digital success with Sammy Kelly. That's another good related session.

New Speaker:

Thanks for doing what you do, minister. Also I owe a word of thanks to United Methodist communications for supporting this masterclass and thanks to our audio editor Reed Gaines. My name is Ryan Dunn. I hope you'll join us in conversation at the Pastoring in the Digital Parish Facebook group. I'm there almost every day, except for my rest days, because boundaries right. Be well friend.

Peace

 

 

 

On this episode

Rev. Lindsay Geist

Rev. Lindsay Geist, MDiv, MSW, LCSW is the Church Transition & Clinical Resource Specialist providing mental health resource support for clergy and congregations in the North Georgia Conference. Lindsay is a Deacon in Full Connection as well as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Rev. Geist podcasts on Not Alone: Conversations on Faith and Wellbeing.

Ryan Dunn, co-host and producer of the Compass Podcast

Our proctor/host is the Rev. Ryan Dunn, a Minister of Online Engagement for United Methodist Communications. Ryan manages the digital brand presence of Rethink Church, co-hosts and produces the Compass Podcast, manages his personal brand, and obsesses with finding ways to offer new expression of grace.