Jun 29, 2022

How to Move From Stress to Success in Children's Ministry

It takes a lot of time and energy to lead a children's ministry.  The demands are constant and there always seems to be a deadline you are facing.       

Yes. Children's Ministry can be stressful.  Very, very stressful at times. If you are not strategic with your time and energy outflow, it can even lead to burnout.  I know this by experience.  If you are burned out or close to it, read what happened to me at this link.  

The good news...you don't have to live under the weight of stress.  Here are some positive steps you can take to move from stress to success.

Don't do ministry alone. You weren't meant to do ministry alone.  The less help you have, the more stressed out you will be.  Shift some things and focus on building a volunteer team.  Ministry should be a team effort.  Delegate.  Give away parts of the ministry to capable leaders who can help you get the job done. 

Stop trying to be Superman or Wonder Woman.  Be willing to trust others to help you carry the ministry. Don't be a control freak.  I know they probably can't do the ministry as well as you would, but sometimes 85% is good enough.  Especially when it helps you not be as stressed out.  

Do less.  Are you trying to do too much?  Program after program stacked on top of each other?  Something going on every night of the week?  

Understand that less is more.  You can do a few things really well or you can do a lot of things mediocre.  Sometimes you have to stop doing something that is good so something else can become great.  Instead of spreading your volunteers thin across many different programs, focus them on the programs or events that can make the biggest impact. 

Want to move from stress to success?  The best thing you can put on your calendar are some eraser marks. 

Take time off.  Are you taking your day(s) off each week?  Are you going on vacation?  This goes back to the Superman / Wonder Woman mindset.  You simply can't do it all and you have to make time to rest and recoup.  

You are at your best when you take time to rest.  Think about this.  When you swing a hammer, you have to exert force to bring down the hammer on the nail.  But then you have to pull back the hammer for a second to prepare for the next swing.  Pulling back is the natural flow that helps you get work done.  The same applies for all areas of ministry. 

I am in Chattanooga this week.  I am staying downtown.  Driving this morning, I noticed an electric car that was plugged in by the sidewalk.  You have to re-charge the car or it will stop working. Same with a gas car.  You have to stop and take time to refill it or it will stop working.

As a minister, you have to take time to re-charge. Re-fill.  If you want to go the distance and not live a life of continuous stress.

Stop trying to do what you can't do.  You can't build a children's ministry.  Neither can I.  The Word tells us that it is God that gives the increase.  It is Jesus who builds His church.  You can't save the world.  That is Jesus' job.  Not yours or mine.  

We all want to see our ministries grow . We all want to see people enter a relationship with Jesus. We all want to see kids grow in their faith.  We all want to invest in families.  

Just remember this.  Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.  Our role is to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, and take steps to nourish the seeds.  But it is God who gives the increase.  

Think about this saying.

Pray for a great harvest with sweat dripping down the hoe handle.  

In other words, pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on you.

It takes balance.   

Track your ministry flow.  Ministry flows in seasons.  Often summer is a busy time with camps, VBS, trips, etc.  Easter is a busy time.  Fall festivals often bring a lot of work and planning.  And then of course, there is the weekend.  Sunday always returns and you have to be ready.  

Track your time and know when your busy, more stressful seasons of ministry occur.  Make sure you rest and recoup after the busier times. 

Think about it like this.  Remember when the Israelites came to Jericho.  God told them to march around the walls one time for 6 days.  This was a big task.  Jericho was a large city and it took a lot of time to get around it.  

6 days around and nothing has happened. On the 7th day, God told them to march around the city 7 times. I am sure there was some complaining.  7 times???  That is a lot of work and effort. 

But we know what happened. After those 7 times around, the walls came crashing down.  You see, sometimes in ministry, it takes extra effort to reach the ministry goals and plans God has placed before you.  These are times when your work and effort increases dramatically.  But you can't live in that zone all the time or you will stress out.  

Look and plan when those 7 day seasons are going to be.  Make sure you have rest built in before and after.  The goal is to see the walls coming down without you crashing down as well.  Know when your more stressful times are and prepare your schedule to compensate.

So there you have it.  Some tips on how to move from stress to success.  Would love to hear your thoughts and insight on this subject.  You can share in the comment section below.  

Have a great, less stress kind of day