I haven’t written for this site in over six weeks. I’ve been busy. It was just a busy season.
We write a lot about busyness, prioritizing rest, and saying “no” on this site because those things are incredibly important to one’s health. I’d like to say that I do a good job of prioritizing rest and saying “no”, but if I am to be honest, I probably say “yes” to more than I should. But that’s my choice. I once heard it said that, “A man only has as much on his plate as he wants.”
For the most part I’ve found this statement to be true. I could choose to not be a minister and instead work in a factory somewhere, pulling a lever. Or I could work for the city driving plow trucks in the winter and fixing roads in the summer like my father did. My life could be much more predictable. I’d do my 40 hours a week and be free for the rest of the time. The biggest problem with that? That life would bore me. I need flair. I was built for this life, and this is what I want to do. I choose the Nextgen ministry life. My choice.
Now with this choice come some really positive consequences. One of those consequences is that I get to be home more than the average parent. Some weeks I only work 30 hours. I get to spend more time with my children. I get to do more different types of work in the average week than I would at almost any other job. The variety my mind seeks is plentiful here.
There are also some really negative consequences to my choice. Finances are tighter than they might be in other professions. Sometimes I have to deal with issues I’d rather now. For me that’s the death side of ministry. The biggest negative consequence, and the one that fuels this post, has to do with “no”. If I want to live this life — if I want to be a minister — sometimes I just can’t say “no”. Sometimes I can’t say “no” to many things at once and for a season I will find myself busy.
The past three months are a prime example of this phenomenon. Between family issues, home issues, work issues, and volunteer issues, I only had a handful of days off in that time frame. Honestly, it almost broke me. I’ve burnt out before. I know the signs and I do my best to make all of the choices that will help me find enough rest. I wasn’t able to get enough rest over these past three months. But I made it through.
To close, I’d like to quickly share a few tips with you on mentally surviving the seasons where you just cannot say “no”.
Only do today what you can do today and don’t worry about tomorrow’s issues.
Go figure. Matthew 6:34 is solid advice. Go God!
Remember there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
By understanding that this isn’t my life and the busy season will end, I often find comfort and strength to move forward.
Delegate and say “no”.
Pass-on whatever projects you can and pass on whatever projects you can.
Hey guys, no matter what season you find yourself in, attitude has a lot to do with how well you weather it. So keep you heads up and remember that you aren’t alone. The network of Nextgen ministers is here for you — to hold you up, to encourage you, and to strengthen you. Finally, God’s got this thing under control. Let Him strengthen you, guide you, and when necessary, carry you.
What tips would you share with Nextgen workers struggling in these areas? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment’s section. Seriously! We’re all in this together.