One of the things that God is teaching me is the power of emotional stress. All forms of ministry carries it.
As a church we work with people, not machines or systems.
When I worked at the mill my day ended when someone relieved my position or the machine was down.
I could go home and leave it all behind because it wasn't personal.
But working with humans is very personal. Every week we work with people who have been deeply hurt, horribly scarred, and are painfully existing. Their pain, their problems are not easy to shut off for them let alone ourselves. Their pain speaks to our pain and often awakens things in us we thought long forgotten and we often carry their pain in our hearts and minds.
This is a major drain on us emotionally which is why many quit ministry because they can no longer live with the stress of working with such pain. There is a reason school teachers need to retire often after working only 25 to 30 years and why most Pastors 90% don't finish well.
This week for me is about regaining some sanity from the emotional stress of ministry. The marriage and the F-Bomb series have been fruitful but also draining and I believe that God is teaching me things that will be helpful to my own Ministry longevity but also to yours.
Here are a few things that I am learning about emotional stress.
#1 Ignore Critics. No one called them to critique your ministry. Critics think too much and do to little. Trust those God has intrusted to encourage your ministry, don't trust those who just think they have been.
#2 Ignite Celebrations. Parties are always a great way to relieve emotional stress. They allow you to see the value in the heavy work that we do. When someone gets saved - Celebrate, when someone gets Baptized - Celebrate, when someone becomes an Owner - Celebrate, when someone finishes discipleship- Celebrate, when someone repents of sin - Celebrate, when someone forgives another - Celebrate. Ministry ought to be celebrated on a weekly basis and nothing is more encouraging than a constant party.
#3 Investigate Christ. Do what Jesus did. When the emotional stress was too much, He prayed, He stayed (waited a few days before going to raise Lazarus from the dead) He cried (Many times), He died (the emotional stress of dealing with people was the reason He died on the cross)
This week I have been praying.
This week I have been staying. Waiting on Gods timing
This week I have been crying.
This week I have been dying. There is much I need to do, but one thing is best to do, get ready for Sunday.
Tonight, Have a party and enjoy being together.
I can't wait to see you all Sunday