Today let’s talk about self-care. I know, it just sounds bad doesn’t it? (It has the word “self” in it so it must be bad, right?) I’d like to challenge that thinking–it’s a fallacy and one that can hurt you. Since I’m not comfortable using my ministry friends for this example (although there are quite a few, I’ll be the example. When I began in ministry twenty years ago, all I wanted to do was serve Jesus, work in ministry and help children. It was children’s ministry so naturally it was fun with lots of opportunities to be creative and encourage others along the way.
One year in and I was a mess. Every waking moment I was “on.” Whenever someone needed me, I was there, from worried parents to overworked parents I was never said no. I ended up tired, overweight, physically sick and just plain beat down.
I know what some will think because I used to think these things too. She didn’t do it right. She obviously didn’t read the Bible enough, or pray enough or take enough breaks. Surely she tried to do it all by herself. She didn’t delegate, she didn’t inspire others to help shoulder the load. Maybe she was always in bad health or worst and most shameful of all assumptions-maybe God didn’t call her to work in ministry. Yes, that has to be it because God equips us with everything we need.
And so goes the cruel circle. For many of us, there are no voices telling us to slow down. Take a break. Get refreshed. Let it go. There is no one to lean on, cry on or encourage us to take better care of ourselves.
Please do that. Learn what self-care means and cultivate it. Self-care is not selfish and it’s not wordly. God only called one Shepherd to die for the sheep. God needs you healthy, in all ways, spiritually, mentally and physically.
How do you get started? Listen to your body. Don’t ignore the warning signs that you might see. Monitor your health. Have a balance in your home life. Set boundaries for your ministry time and most importantly of all–keep them. Working out is a good way of getting your health going, I suggest getting a squeem perfect waist cincher which will help you maintain the right posture when exercising.
This isn’t a complete guide on the subject of self-care. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I hope it will be enough to encourage you to take care of yourself. Don’t forget that God values you too.
You can do it!
4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Self Care for Ministry Leaders”
It’s hard when the staff you are working with isn’t a team and there is no spiritual growth together as a team. You can’t take care if you don’t have support.
Great article! I am learning to follow this wisdom of taking care of me and not feeling guilty if I have to spend money doing it.
I am home from spending hours at the hospital emergency department. My stress level spiked lately, and so did heart attack symptoms. This article could not have spoken more truthfully to anyone else. You are correct and this is timely for everyone. The Lord needs an army of workers, not an infirmary of people. We must REST more as HE designed our lives to be.
Thanks for the great advice. It is so true.
Years ago, when I was in pastoral ministry, I slowly learned that a pastor (or anyone in ministry) is not on call 24/7 – but God is; and if we’re walking closely with Him, He will let us know when our next shift is due. He won’t expect any more from us than what he enables us to do. He will also give us the wisdom to know when to be involved and when to stay out of it.
God wants us to last out – not burn out.