Mar 30, 2018

Tired in Ministry? Here's How to Bounce Back

Do you ever get tired in ministry?

Maybe you've just finished a long summer of events and you're exhausted?

Perhaps you've been planning and planning and planning for a new building and you are mentally tapped out?

Or you need lots of new volunteers and you've been recruiting like crazy and it's worn you out?

It could be you've got so much going on that you've been having a hard time falling asleep.  Everything you've got on your plate loops in your mind and steals away much needed rest?

Maybe you're trying to lead through change and the opposition you've faced has emptied your tank?

Perhaps the non-stop cycle of preparing for weekend services has you dragging your feet?

Are you so tired that your ministry joy has been reduced to drudgery? 

If that's you, you're not alone.  There are times when everyone gets tired in ministry.  Even people in the Bible got tired.  Elijah got tired.  Jeremiah got tired.  Paul got tired.  Moses got tired.  Jesus even got tired.

When you get tired, what should you do?  How do you bounce back?  How do you get your energy back?  How do you gather the strength to keep going and not fall by the wayside?  

Let's look at some practical steps you can take to bounce back when you are tired.

Identify Why You Are Tired

Usually, like in the situations listed above, it will be easy to identify why you are tired.  Other times, you'll have to do some introspection.

A good way to do this is to write down everything you are doing.  Then identify the things on your list that are causing the biggest drain on your time and energy.  Also identify which things on your list cause you the most stress, since stress is probably the thing that drains you the most.

Once you're able to identify what is causing your "battery" to drain too quickly, work to resolve it, so the drain isn't constant or never-ending.

We all have times when we have to burn the midnight oil, but if you're burning the midnight oil continuously, you will burn out...literally.

Figuring out what's causing you to burn that midnight oil is the first step.

Focus on your health. 

Unless you are sick, you are feeling tired because your body (which includes your mind) is tired.  Lack of sleep, improper diet and exercising will catch up with you.

Re-access your eating habits and sleep patterns.  Start getting plenty of exercise.  Exercise has so many benefits.  It reduces stress, boosts your mood and improves your health.

We see examples of this in scripture.  Elijah went and rested.  Paul said he rested and was refreshed by friends.  Even Jesus pulled away to rest.   

Take a Vacation or at Least an Extra Day Off

Here's the rub.  You have a big event or a big day.  You know you need to catch your breath afterwards, but you also feel the need to jump right into the follow up from the big event or dive right into getting ready for the next big thing.  (That's another whole topic we could talk about - doing too many big things).

It's a tension you must learn to manage.  Even though there's follow-up or another event breathing down your neck, it's important to take a vacation or at least an extra day off after you've been in a hectic season.

If you don't take that vacation or few days off, it will come back to bite you later.  Give yourself permission to take a break.  You've earned it and your body is telling you as much.

Say "No" So You Can Find the Margin to Rest

I am reminded of when Jesus had went apart to rest and spend time with His Father.  The disciples came and found Him and said, "Everyone is looking for you."

The truth is, Jesus didn't heal everyone in His country.  He didn't accept every speaking opportunity.  He was selective in choosing and focusing on the most essential tasks for the fulfillment of His mission.  He sometimes said "no" so He could rest and spend time in prayer.

You must do the same.  If you've going to find the margin to rest and bounce back, then you've got to say "no' to some people and to some things.  Especially when you are tired and know you need to rest.  Don't feel guilty about it, either.  If you're going to help people for the long haul, then you've got to rest so you can bounce back.

Saying "yes' when you should say "no" will keep you from bouncing back.

Ministry can definitely be tiring.  And you will get tired at times.  But you don't have to live in a rut of tiredness.  Use these tips to curb the amount of time you are tired and know how to bounce back when you are dragging.

Let's go the distance!  Let's finish strong!  Let's serve with a joy that comes from operating out of the overflow!

Keep the conversation going.  What are some things that tire you out in ministry?  How do you bounce back when you are tired?  Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.

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