When church/ministry makes you too busy
- Feeling you have to be at church every time the doors are open. I have a friend who says Jesus did not come that we might “Have meetings and those more abundantly.” I’m all for worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, Bible study, small groups, and so on and so forth, but too many programs and meetings is too many no matter how worthy each one may be. When frequent church meetings hurt your family or your marriage, you are NOT in line with God’s Word. Please don’t let anyone guilt you into attending things to which you should say no. You, not those guilting you, will answer to God for how you use your time.
- Doing too much ministry. I love to minster, especially when I see God use it to change lives, and it can be addictive. Some minster “too much” out of fear, guilt, pride, or because they are manipulated into it. I’ve known youth minsters who didn’t have time for their own children, and marriage minsters whose marriage was in deep trouble. God is clear we are not qualified to minster if we do not have healthy relationships with our spouse and children. I am not saying you have to be perfect to minster, but if there are significant problems, you need to scale back or stop ministry until things are worked out.
- It’s your job. Those of us paid to minster can misjudge the proper priority for ministry because it is both ministry and employment. If you have those two things as, say, fourth and fifth place on your priority list, do not think the two being the same elevates it to third place. It’s still fourth and fifth.
We should minster because we love God, not to prove we love Him. Our relationship with God and our ministry are related, but they are not the same thing. The fact that God is first does not mean ministry trumps all other activities and responsibilities.
Leaders: PLEASE do not allow your people to do too much church or ministry. I am not just saying do not over work them, I am saying do not allow them to do too much. We have a responsibly to God for those He places in our care, and if we allow them to do too much we will answer for it.
Church members: Do not be guilty of trying to push your pastor and other leaders to do more than they should. Most in the church have no idea what a pastor’s life is like, and how much pressure they face. A few stats (from the New York Times – August 1, 2010):
- 33% of pastors say being in ministry is a hazard to their families.
- 40% of pastors, and 47% of pastor’s spouses, are suffering from burnout or being excessively busy.
- More than half say they would leave the pastorate if they had a good job offer elsewhere.
- 80% of pastors say they do not have enough time with their spouse.
- 90% work more than 50 hours a week.
The vast majority of pastors are over worked, underpaid, stressed, and grossly under-appreciated. You can make a difference for your pastor, and your pastor’s family. Fight for your pastor to have enough pay, enough help, and enough off time to have a healthy family life.
This is one of seven posts about busyness:
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
The Generous Wife
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Intimacy in Marriage
Boring Sex? Here are 3 Tips ◄ Check out #2!
Marriage Missions International
Move Marriage from Good to Great ◄ This is dead on, Are you up to the task of a GREAT marriage?
Answering Questions about Marriage On the Stupendous Marriage Show With Stu and Lisa Gray ◄ Great show – other than that phone call!