Tag: stress

What Energizes You?

What energizes you?

One of the things I like about ministry is that a pastor gets to do a variety of different things.  In one day you can spend time alone studying and praying for your next Sunday’s sermon; then visit the hospital to celebrate the birth of a new baby with a family in your church; after lunch stop by the local nursing home to chat for a few minutes with a dear senior adult member; in the afternoon counsel a young couple who are planning their wedding; and,  finish the day at a committee meeting where you deal with the realities of the economy and budgets.

But in the mix of all the things that pastors do, there are some things that energize me more than others.  I enjoy most of the work a pastor does, but I’m energized by some of it more than others.

I believe those aspects of ministry that energize you are God’s great gift to you.  Those energizing areas are different for different pastors.  Some love to spend lots of time pouring over Greek texts, and exegeting scripture passages.  Others believe their ministry in face-to-face settings is vital.  Still others find fulfillment in hanging at the local coffee shop making friends with total strangers.

Whatever your passion, God gives you those special, energizing moments.  God doesn’t give them to you so you can spend all your time doing just one thing.  After all, pastors are generalists, not specialists.  But God gives you the energizing moments to keep you going through the times that drain you.

In Psalm 23, God leads the sheep to the green pastures and still waters before the valley of the shadow of death.  The times of energy and refreshment are to get us through the times of difficulty and despair.

Ministry has to be balanced.  We do some things because we have to.  Whether you’re a pastor or a postal worker, some things are have-tos.  But we do a few things because we want to.   For our lives to have meaning and purpose, we need those energizing moments.  Those are God’s gifts to you.  Enjoy them when they come.

Beware The Post-Easter Letdown Syndrome

Okay, so your church did it all.  You had a Maundy Thursday service, a Good Friday service, an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, an early Easter sunrise service, and one or more Easter morning worship services.  And it was all great!  Except today is Monday, and you’re not feeling so good.

Welcome to the post-Easter letdown syndrome.  There are several things you can do to get past this sag in spirit:

  1. Stop eating your kids’ Easter candy. I know it makes you feel better, but you don’t need the calories or the sugar, which creates another letdown.
  2. Get off the bunny trail, and get some rest. This one is serious advice.  Think of the rhythm of rising energy leading up to big seasons and Sundays like Easter. Plan for some down-time afterward.  Spend some extra time with your family.  Cut the grass.  In other words, take a break.
  3. Make notes for next year. Okay, get some rest first, but somewhere along the way, make notes of the things that went well, and the things that didn’t.  File them away for next year, and maybe it will save you some work about 11 months from now.

Okay, that’s it.  Oh, and watch Duke and Butler face off tonight.  I’m going to myself, right after our monthly Deacons’ meeting.  Some things you can’t get out of!