Don’t Clear the Backlog Just Yet

Coming Up For Air

I sat down with a friend the other day. And, as we indulged in a hipster lunch in some gourmet coffee shop, he shared his plans to take a month off this summer. He is an excellent youth minister who has not come up for air in years. I was fascinated and a bit jealous. His driving desire was that he could lead more clearly. Knowing that he will be tasked with coming up with a vision for the fall semester, and desiring a ministry that goes beyond the ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ pattern, he knew that some time away would make his time of planning for the fall later in the summer more efficient, effective, and valuable.

Addressing the Backlog

Summer is upon us and, whether you are a full time minister or just a volunteer, you likely have a backlog of things you hope, want, or need to do before summer ends and the fall semester rolls in. Summer provides some downtime, or at least a different pace of ministry, that brings the opportunity to address some tasks that may have fallen to the side during the madness of the semester.

Do not address those things until you take a break. It could be a long weekend. It could be a few holy hours. Or, it could be reading that book you’ve been putting off. Take a breath and hit the reset button on your ministry life. So often chaos enters in, and you are just moving from one event to the next.

Clear the Fog

This break, this breather, these moments we take can help clear the fog that will allow us to see what God desires in our ministry. It will also help us avoid burnout.

Maybe you’re a workaholic, or you have placed your identity completely in your role as minister. If that is the case, the break is all the more needed. I’ve seen spouses widowed by ministry and ministers turn themselves into martyrs.

Here are a few great things to do during your break.

  • Take your ministry email off of your phone
  • Visit somewhere outside your parish boundaries (for a few days)
  • Spend an hour in silence
  • Exercise
  • Waste some time with your family
  • Resurrect a hobby you love (mine would probably be disc golf)

Take a Break

The chaos will be there when you return and you’ve already proven that you can get by in the midst of the chaos. Come back refreshed and you can thrive, all God to calm the seas of your ministry.

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