Stress in Children's Ministry...How to Deal With It

You will have stress in children's ministry.  The weekend always returns and you have to be ready.  Add on top of that big events like VBS, Fall Festival, Summer Camp, Chirstmas, Easter...the list goes on and on.

If you're going to go the distance, you have to learn to deal with the stress.  Here's some tips...

Identify what your major stress factors are.  Which situations create the most stress for you?  How do you respond to these situations?  

Take steps to adjust or reduce your major stress factors.  Are there some things you can delegate to someone else?  Are there some changes you can make that will relieve some of the stress?  What can you stop doing?

Establish boundaries.  Most of us in ministry are people pleasers.  We are wired to help others.  We are shepherds with a heart to care for the sheep.  But you have to set boundaries or the ministry will take over your whole life and bury you.  Learn to say "no."  Have times you don't answer calls.  Don't let the ministry infringe on your time with your family.

Take time to recharge.  You and I are like rechargeable batteries.  If we don't make time to recharge, we run out of energy.  Spend time with God.  Take your day off.  Use your vacation time.  Be home in the evening with your family.

Learn how to relax.  This is hard for me.  My brain is wired to always be on the move.  I have a hard time just sitting still.  I have to force myself to do this.  But we have to have things that take our mind off the ministry.  It may be watching TV or a movie, a hobby, reading a book, or working out.  Whatever it is that can take your mind off all your responsibilities, do it.

Have someone to talk to.  Have a friend who knows when you are getting stressed out and holds you accountable.  Have someone you can share with.  You weren't meant to do life and ministry alone.

Your turn.  What causes you stress?  How do you deal with stress?  Share with us in the comment section below.