In over 20 years in vocational ministry, I have learned the job can be an emotional roller coaster at times. We have to learn to balance the highs and lows of ministry in order to succeed long-term.
You can have the best Sunday but then the critics seem to find you on Monday morning. Sometimes it happens Sunday while walking out of the church building. Or, and you have to be a pastor to understand this one, it could happen just before you walk behind the podium to preach.
You have your week planned and numerous crises happen in the same week – and your “day off” is now going to be spent preparing for Sunday. (And don’t Sundays seem to come around often.)
It seems you can never get ahead and you’re always playing catch-up with your “to do” list.
It’s life. It’s ministry and it is normal. I understand it’s not just for pastors, but I’ve been in business, government and non-profits – and, frankly, pastoring is unique in its demands.
Some days are always better than others, but learning how to deal with the highs and lows is a major key in sustaining yourself for ministry long-term.
4 tips to balance highs and lows of ministry:
1. Find your rhythm
The “your” here is important. You’ll be healthier and happier when you find the balance to your life that works for you. When you know the right amount of sleep. If you get an exercise and healthy eating plan. When you learn how to say no to things you simply can’t do or someone else can do better than you.
I have also found checklists keeps me on task. As much as possible, I try to make my week routine. Mondays and Tuesdays are meeting days. Wednesday and Thursdays are study days. Friday is a catch up day to use as needed. Saturday I try to do nothing – except what Cheryl and I want to do.