Most church leaders I know work hard. You may serve as a preacher, elder, or some other kind of role as a Christian servant. I suspect you want to be effective, you want to make a difference, and you are trying to carry out your ministry in the best way you know how.
Yet, you may have found that ministry can take a great amount of energy.
1. One older woman met her new preacher. She then boasted regarding their former preacher, “Oh we ran him off!” She said much in that one statement.
2. A well educated couple took notes during most every sermon. Their notes? These were actually critiques of their young minister’s grammatical errors. After each sermon they presented him with the list as they communicated their displeasure.
3. In one congregation, an office assistant made life very difficult for a new minister at the church. This was allowed to continue for several years. Why? She was related to one of the elders.
4. Two long-time ministers in a congregation conspired to make life very challenging for a new preacher, their co-worker. He knew that if he stayed with that congregation, he would continue to feel very much alone in his relationships with the other ministers.
These kinds of situations take a lot of energy. You may be in a difficult situation in your congregation.
It is critical that you create energy producing habits and practices. Energy has to come in and not just flow out or else we can pay a severe price.
For example, the following are some of the practices which give me energy.
1. I get energy from an early morning time of Bible reading and prayer. This includes writing in my journal. During this time, I may read various books that feeds my soul.
2. I get energy when I get away from the office during the day to read, plan ahead, or write.
3. I get energy when I work out. I generally work out three to four days per week at a gym near our house. It is not always convenient. Yet, I know it makes a positive difference in the way I feel.
4. I get energy from conversations with friends. I might have a ten to fifteen conversation with a good friend which then provides me with energy for hours.
5. I get energy when I work on a talk/sermon/message well in advance of the deadline. For example, the other day I spent thirty minutes working on a message that is to be delivered several months from now. That thirty minutes was an important investment. Days later, I continue to think about some of those seed thoughts.
What about you? Are you intentional about doing the things that give you energy?