To the overworked worship pastor, exhausted preacher, and the ministry assistant up to her eyebrows in check-in sheets, this is for you.
After spending the past three years in a full-time ministry position, I am aware of the amount of effort it takes to keep a well-oiled ministry department running effectively. Most of us know that Thanksgiving and Christmas can be some of the most exhaustive months out of the year. Whether you serve in music, youth, communications, or any other church department, something is always overdue and Sundays keep coming.
It is easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed to the point where you feel so drained you can barely think. It’s inevitable during this time of year to get wrapped up in the prep work, planning, and the chaos, but it is also imperative that we not forget to care for our own spiritual needs while pouring into others.
When our spiritual battery is drained, we need to take time to recharge.
A few ways I recharge is by implementing a couple of spiritual disciplines. This helps me take care of my mind, body, and soul during the hectic season. These disciplines include ensuring restful sleep each night, digging into the Bible daily, taking daily walks, and being mindful about eating a healthy meal while deciding whether to eat the second cookie taunting me from the break room.
What else drains our batteries? Sometimes it’s the amount of time we spend on technology. This can include the mindless scrolling we all do late at night when everything seems to have calmed down. In the midst of the long days, it’s easy to keep scrolling when we could be winding down, spending intentional time with our family, or making sure we get a full night’s rest.
What I have found is, when I implement these activities into my daily life, not only do I feel recharged, I am able to work more effectively. Taking care of ourselves in the midst of unavoidable busyness is not a selfish act, it is a necessity.
So what happens after we get through the holidays at the office? Then it’s family time. For an extrovert like me, I am filled up by being with others, but this is not the case for everyone.
Let’s be honest, the holidays can be stressful. We often use our phones, tablets, etc. to escape and to relieve the tension sometimes created around the table. Unfortunately, this can lead to an overuse of our devices drawing us away from people and prevents us from being truly present and connected. At that point, I have to realize it is time to “unplug.” Below are four things I use to stay engaged during the holidays:
- Activate Do Not Disturb on my device
- Implement a “Phone-Free” table
- Turn Off my Notifications
- Schedule specific time for my phone usage.
These four ways have helped me become more accountable about keeping my device usage in check. Let me be candid; you will find me to be the first one to be snapping photographs of the beautiful charcuterie boards, plump turkey, and brightly lit Christmas tree. And guess what? More often than not, I miss the special moments around the table.
I understand this season calls for rushing, prepping, and planning but this season, I encourage you to be intentional about how you choose to fill your time. I pray this season will be one surrounded by the ones you love and that matter the most to you. Whether you are gathered around the table with your family and friends, serving in the community, or just taking time to relax, I pray you can find time in the midst of “the busy” to recharge, regroup, and enjoy this season to its fullest.
Written by: Carolyn Soto Jackson, Content Marketing Specialist at Enable Ministry Partners