Are you as busy as you think? In looking back at my years of ministry I often struggled with a question: “How busy am I?” All of us know that pastors are extremely busy. That is a fact! However, there have been times when I was my own worst enemy. I perceived myself to be too busy.
Do you ever wonder what you would do differently if you could start over in ministry? As I draw closer to retirement age (I am 64) I find myself pondering this question more often. The beginning of a new year also challenges us to reflect on new beginnings. (We call them resolutions.)
Do you remember a time when a gift you gave lit up the face of a child or someone special? During the holiday season we are given the opportunity to repeat this action a number of times. As a believer it is my prayer that I would always remember the joy of giving.
Do you ever get up in the morning and feel flat? I equate this feeling to a flat tire. A flat tire is depressed, of no value, and not prepared for the purpose at hand. Surely pastors never feel this way. LOL!
So, what can we do when we feel this way? I share these thoughts from my journey.
Years ago I heard a speaker say, “The modern church has been given the task of maintaining an institution.” How true! Buildings, budgets, meetings and administrative tasks are a necessary part of church life, but it can be a drag.
In Romans we find a warm word of thanks from Paul for his co-workers Priscilla and Aquila. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles” (Romans 16:4).
We are in the Thanksgiving season and want to take this opportunity to give thanks for you and to offer a holiday greeting.
Do you struggle as much as I do with giving up control? Recently I organized an event that required me to give up control. The requirements of this assignment meant that I had to put together a team and then release them to do ministry. The event was/is much larger than one person can handle. Such occasions require that somebody give up control, and that’s a hard thing for me to do. However, if I am called upon to lead people, it is critical that I continually give up control.
A few days ago, I borrowed a dirt mover from a neighbor. With the machine I borrowed some frustration I did not want. My neighbor and I spent three out or four hours working on the machine. At one point my neighbor went to pick up a part, to answer some of our frustrations. While he was gone I decided to use the frustrating, supposedly wasted time in a positive way. I used the time constructively to address another need.
Big picture thinking can be a lifesaver. How’s that so, you ask? Maybe looking at the big picture exhausts you. Many times, we are sabotaged by what I call short-term thinking. Let’s say it’s Monday morning and you are depressed because the attendance was off on Sunday. Low attendance may a relevant concern; however, before slipping into depression back off and look at the big picture. God is up to something, even when you can’t see it.
Are you a late-night person or early riser? The Bible says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late.” Ps. 127:2 Does this mean you are a bad person if you stay up late or rise early? Obviously, there is more to this verse than the surface meaning.