Sep 24, 2013

Ministry Brain Freeze...What It Is & How You Get Rid of It

We've all had brain freeze before.  You know, that sudden headache you get when eating or drinking something cold.

Ever wander what causes it?  I did a little research and here's what I discovered.

The medical term for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.  Wow...that's a long term.  Now you know why we just call it "brain freeze."

When something cold touches the roof of your mouth, the sudden temperature change causes rapid dilation and swelling of blood vessels.  This is an attempt to direct blood to the area and warm it back up.

The dilation of the blood vessels triggers pain receptors.  This produces inflammation while sending signals to the brain about the problem.

The brain interprets the pain signal as coming from the forehead.  This is called 'referred pain' since the cause of the pain is in a different location from where you feel it.

Brain freeze typically hits about 10 seconds after chilling your palate and lasts about 30 seconds.  A long 30 seconds, I might add.

I've also get ministry brain freeze.  Here's some cold things in ministry that can cause me pain.

A chilly, critical letter that picks apart something we've put blood, sweat, and tears into. 

A cold shoulder from someone I'm inviting to join our volunteer team.

An icy stare from someone we offended through bad guest relations.

The freezing spiritual temperature of a nonchalant parent I'm encouraging to be the spiritual leader of their child.

The coldness I feel when a family I have loved and poured my life into becomes disgruntled and leaves the church.

The frozen heart of a person I'm sharing Christ with who has no interest.

The numb feeling I get when a program or event I put hours and hours into gets a cold response.

So what do you do when you get ministry brain freeze?

My natural urge is to sulk, run, get angry, complain, or just quit.  But I have to resist those things.  They're not the answer to ministry brain freeze.

First, I have to get alone with Jesus and let Him warm my heart back up.  In His presence, the cold pain will begin to melt away.

I must remember that pain can even come from something you love.  I love ice cream.  And most of the time, that's what gives me brain freeze. 

And isn't that just like ministry brain freeze.  I love ministry...but I must remember that it will cause me pain at times.  But it's working through the cold pain that your relationship with Christ and your ministry for Christ will grow deeper.

I must also remind myself that brain freeze is only temporary.  It may hurt for awhile, but it will subside.  Hang on.  Endure the pain and you'll come out stronger and more effective.

Your turn.

What causes you ministry brain freeze?

What do you do when it happens?

What have you learned through it?

Share your thoughts in the comment section.  God will use your words to encourage us. 

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