My heart just breaks for those who are going through difficult times in ministry. Over in the Kidology forums I read of children’s ministry leaders who are going through incredibly difficult times in ministry – budget cuts, conflicts with leadership, church difficulties, etc. But one common thread that surfaces often is how over worked and exhausted leaders are and how many hours they are working and how their family life is suffering and how on the verge of quitting they are.
I’d like to be a bit bold and issue a DECEMBER CHALLENGE to all children’s ministry leaders.
Church ministry is hard. Church politics is so easy to run into even over incredibly petty stuff – simple mistakes turn into major missteps. A kind favor can end up stepping on sensitive toes. Generosity can be perceived as selfish ambition. You can bump into power control without even intending to. What you think will be embraced can be pushed away and what you think will be received with gratitude can instead be greeted with skepticism. It can be incredibly hurtful and discouraging if we allow it. It takes constant, even daily reminders of WHOM WE SERVE to keep sane. People will misinterpret – assume the worst, jump to conclusions, judge motives; all kinds of things, when you are just trying to serve the Lord.
LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU. EVEN ADMONISH YOU. I will say if you are doing too much (I’ve been there) you need to take drastic action and slow way down and get your family and personal life BACK at any cost. Slowing down a little doesn’t work. I’ve tried that. You must slow way down.
With the holidays coming – I’d say NOW is the time to pull away from the church and FORCE some family time. Set some office hours and stick with them. God will honor it! Here is a powerful concept: What doesn’t get done – doesn’t get done! Let what falls, fall! Seriously! Your family has fallen enough. THINK ABOUT IT: isn’t that what’s been happening at home? The bills that didn’t get paid? The lawn that didn’t get mowed? The kid that didn’t get played with? The laundry that didn’t get done? How come the home stuff was allowed to sit undone, but not the church stuff? How is that fair? How is that what God wants? Do you seriously think God wants that? Do you really believe family is first?
My pastor shared with me recently that he once asked himself, “When was the last time you canceled a church thing for family?” He knew family got canceled regularly. So he determined that church things needed to get canceled once in awhile for his family, instead of only the other way around. What a concept! It is time church got ‘hurt’ instead of family for a change!
MAKE THIS DECEMBER the month you put your family first!
I DARE YOU! And I seriously doubt God is going to let your ministry fall apart if you suddenly started putting Him and your family first.
I’m talking to EVERYONE READING THIS who knows that they have let the Monster of Ministry push their walk with God and/or their family aside. (Yes, YOU!)
IT IS TIME TO SAY NO MORE and make December the month you push back and say, forget it. “I’ve been pushed around by my job enough. I am taking charge. This is how much I am working. And what I get done gets done, and what doesn’t get done – too bad. Fire me. My family is more important to me than the church.” Them are fightin’ words! But them are godly words!! Them are words that will please God!! (and your family)
That attitude may sound like it will get you fired, but it actually might just save your job! If not, it will save your sanity.
And I’m not preaching from a mountain as one who has always done it right, I’m preaching as one who learned this the hard way, and has wounds and scars to prove it. So there is some anger and resolve in my passion. I will never let ministry hurt my family again.
It is time to stand up and push back and stop letting the church push you around! (but do it with grace)
ARE YOU WITH ME!?
WILL YOU TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE THIS DECEMBER???