Okay… I know I’ve got to enlist LOTS of volunteers for all three Sunday School hours. It’s a big deal but I’m getting there… And I know that Fall Festival’s coming and I’ll need to get all that together and have it ready to present to the Pastor by September 15. I’ll make that deadline… And of course I understand that it takes 160 different people to pull off an eight-week rotation for Extended Teaching Care for Preschoolers. We’re working on it… And sure, I was perfectly aware that I needed to get leaders to chaperone camp last summer. We were only one chaperone short… But what do you mean I need to take care of myself? I just don’t have time for that!
Unfortunately, that scenario isn’t all that unique. All too often kids ministry leaders find themselves doing everything under the sun EXCEPT taking care of themselves! Yet… it’s one of the only things that MUST be done by YOU. No one else can do it for you.
Consider these four areas of "Taking Care of Yourself" as you head into the fall season:
- Take Care of Yourself Spiritually: FIRST THINGS FIRST! God wants to speak and minister to thekids and families in your ministry from the overflow of what He’s doing in you. If you’re not allowing Him the opportunity to work on, in, and through you… chances are what you’re giving isn’t "overflow." Read your Bible regularly. Spend time in prayer daily. Seek God in corporate and private worship routinely.
- Take Care of Yourself Physically: UGH! I know I need to do a better job of this. I need to watch what I eat, exercise more consistently, and get good rest, but somehow…I find myself 30 pounds overweight on any given day! With that confession being made, I will also share that as I write this post, I’m on a diet, I’m visiting the gym regularly, and I’m trying to go to bed before mid-night. I just need to be consistent and I need to make it a priority.
- Take Care of Yourself Mentally: When is the last time you read a book, attended a workshop, or simply surfed the Internet in an attempt to stretch your knowledge and understanding of kids ministry. I agree…everything out there isn’t good! But, I’ve learned that I can learn something from almost anyone, every workshop, and every website. It might be that I learn that there are different opinions and ways of doing things that I DON’T like…but I can learn! A good friend of mine puts it this way, "Be a student, not a critic."
- Take Care of Yourself Socially: When is the last time you went to a dinner that didn’t include a clown, a king, or a rat? When you’re with your friends, do you pull out the wipes and clean the table before you allow your friends to sit down? Do you generally eat your meals in 5 or less minutes? If you can relate to any of the scenarios listed you need to find some ways to take care of yourself socially. Call a friend, plan an afternoon, and talk ADULT! Don’t burn yourself out by not having peers who understand what you mean when you talk about your "rotary dial" telephone (figuratively… but you know what I mean). Go to dinner with your spouse and don’t talk about the church (I dare you). Go see a movie that’s not animated. You’ll be better at your work for taking the time to socialize with your peers!
There’s so much to do… I know, but you can only breathe out for so long before you FALL OUT! You must be taking deep breaths regularly in order to be able to minister effectively.
Want more? Make sure you join Bill at KMC 2012 this fall at Ridgecrest, NC to hear his workshop entitled "Why didn’t Somebody Tell me That!" Registration is buy one, get one FREE until August 22, 2012.