Pastoral ministry is not easy. And, in a consumerist culture, the job becomes more difficult!
Much of my ministry is being a shepherd to shepherds. Nothing is more fulfilling to me than coming-along-side a pastors/leaders to listen, care, and encourage them.
Through the practice of spiritual listening and mentoring, I’m aware of how fatigue can penetrate to the bones. If you’re tired, weary and recognizing your fatigue, here are some necessary practices to help rejuvenate your body, soul, and mind:
Revisit your expectations. We tend to place a lot of unnecessary expectations on ourselves. We want to serve well. We resist mediocrity. We want others to like us. We’re prone to believe that performance is more significant than faithfulness. God’s view of us establishes our identity and worth; not others.
Guard your health. Good results are a fruit of exercise, rest and sleep. How’s your diet and exercise? Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Grow new leadership through delegation. Not everything we do is necessary for us to do. Identify tasks and responsibilities and empower others to serve you and others.
Avoid comparison. As Christian leaders we are to follow Christ; not others. The moment I divert my eyes from Christ and compare my leadership with the pastor or church down the street, I open myself to feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy.
Family first! You will never recapture time lost with your family. Establish boundaries so that the demands of the job will not dominate your time from your family.
Feed yourself before your congregation. Establishing sacred rhythms to feed your soul will prepare you to feed your flock. A starving shepherd is no help to the sheep.
Every leader is familiar with pressing demands. However, effective leaders recognize the value of a Sabbath mindset: leading from a place of quietness before the Lord.
If you are a little tired – or bone weary exhausted, the posture of the Psalmist is a good one for all of us: “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)