There are seasons when a ministry feels very intense. Quite often that intensity may be related to particular problems or issues that have surfaced in the church or in the community.
Sometimes that intensity is due to unforeseen situations. Perhaps you have recently presided over several funerals or weddings within a period of a few weeks. If you are a minister, you know that these can often take a lot of time.
For example, the average person sees you speak at a funeral and in that person’s mind there may not be that much time or work involved. However, the challenge of a funeral for a minister is not just the remarks expressed. A minister is often doing this work within the context of his own grief and sadness. After all, the deceased may have been a friend, a confidant, an encourager or more.
A minister may spend hours at the hospital leading up to a death. Then, that minister might spend time with the family discussing plans for the funeral and memories of the deceased. This minister may work late into the night preparing remarks for the funeral. If the funeral is in the morning, that minister will spend most of the morning (if not all of it) doing something related to the funeral. Not only will this minister speak at the funeral but then also at the graveside. After this funeral, this minister may eat with the family at the church building.
When I first began my ministry, I was shocked as to how much time could actually be spent when presiding at either a funeral or a wedding.
Sometimes, there will be several of these within a week. I remember a few weeks when I had several funerals or a funeral and a wedding and came away feeling exhausted.
Finally, there are times when ministry feels intense when I have said “yes” to too many opportunities. Maybe I am seeing too many people in my office for counseling. Perhaps I have scheduled too many meetings. I may have said yes to many speaking appointments.
The following are a few suggestions that you might find helpful when your ministry has become very busy. I have found these helpful; it did, however, take me some time to learn them.