I’ve seen a lot of church people crash and burn – pastors too. Many pastors are ineffective in their ministry because they are doing too much, aren’t taking care of themselves, and have not set up boundaries. They try to be supermen, attend every event, take every call, fix every problem, and counsel every crisis. In the process they end up burning out and losing touch with themselves and their families. I refuse to allow that to happen.
I thought I’d share with you some decisions I'm making in order to re-claim my life:
I’m admitting to myself that I am spread too thin. I don’t have to do it all, and won’t attempt to do so. Some things can be done without me. If we can’t find the volunteers or hire the staff to get it done, it will simply go undone.
I’m maintaining regular exercise. I sleep better, feel better, have more energy, and think more clearly when I’m in top shape. I’m in good shape now, but it could be better. I’m sticking with it and taking it up a notch. Besides, America already has enough fat preachers with heart disease who live short lives.
I’m protecting my Bible time and prayer. It’s easy to allow other things in my schedule to crowd this one out and I have to fight hard against it. Most of you know I maintain a prayer journal where I record my prayer requests or reflections from the scriptures – and what this does to strengthen me I cannot fully express. But there is a constant tension between my quiet time and office duties, phone calls, mini-emergencies with people, and a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done. It's like a conspiracy of interruptionis. Of course, this is a tension we all wrestle with. But I wanted you to know that I am making every effort to guard and develop my spiritual life.
I’m going to protect my personal time by limiting my evenings out at church-related events. I am physically present at too many church-related events. This is killing my personal time and it’s unhealthy for me. I’m going to maintain a healthy limit and no more. Get used to the idea that I won’t be at everthing that is going on.
It’s amazing how empowering and effective a few changes like these can be to re-claiming my life and getting in touch with a person I left behind. Myself.
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