We all have days where we just don’t feel on fire. We get tired, lethargic, low or no energy, and yes, even burned out! Believe me, this happens more than you might think.
Hey, I’ve felt this way myself, lots of times. Guess what? The longer you’re in ministry, you’ll experience this from time to time. It doesn’t mean you’re less godly or in sin, it just means you're human.
Here’s the good news: "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Hebrews 4:15 KJV
In my early days of ministry, I got by on adrenaline, passion and enthusiasm. But as the years passed, I understood how important it was to have some strategies to stay encouraged, motivated and engaged with ministry.
Here are four strategies I’ve found helpful when I find myself bored with ministry:
- Minister outside your calling. When you’re mastering your calling, it’s only natural to immerse yourself in it and give it the attention it deserves.As I said earlier, in my early days of ministry, I got by on adrenaline and enthusiasm. But adrenaline doesn’t last forever, neither do good times.Focusing only on what you’re called to do will become boring, for you and for those you serve.Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:4Recognize when it’s time to turn your attention outside your ministry and calling to become smarter inside your ministry. This opens the door for you to connect with new people, and for people to connect with you. It will also keep you interested and engaged.
- Add something fresh, new and different. When you begin to take some interest outside your own ministry, you’ll begin to develop new and fresh ideas in your own.Maybe an update or redesign of your website or blog. A fresh design or look will definitely keep things interesting.
Consider working on those things you've been putting off. Go to a conference. Research that idea you've been considering.
Shaping your ideas to do something new will help you look at things with fresh eyes and keep ministry interesting for everyone.
- Keep a notepad or digital recorder handy. I learned to do this while serving in the Army. As a legal clerk, it was important that I was able to recall disciplinary requests from my commanders after a meeting. Plus, it's a trait of any good legal assistant to take notes.In college, I found recorders to be the best tool for taking notes, as not to miss a word in an important lecture.Why is it that when you are just drifting off to sleep, you suddenly remember something really important? Then you lie there worrying that you won't remember it in the morning. Here's an idea...Write it down!I keep a notepad handy all the time, even by my bedside. Capturing ideas on the fly, names or URLs of content you want to check out, and even the occasional doodle can mean the difference between staying ahead and informed or lagging behind and being uninformed.Your notes are like a time machine that lets you go back days, weeks, even years. These notes contain ideas and strategies that you may want to implement in your ministry, if not sooner, then maybe later.
- Be Still. As a leader in ministry, at work in our community, we can sometimes find it difficult turning our minds off and just being still. We tend to believe that we have to be doing something.For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1Doing nothing is a great activity. It quiets the mind. Too much doing creates noise and crowds into every empty space, leaving us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, burned out, and even bored.
These are just a few things I’ve learned over the years, to keep me motivated rather than bored, about my calling and ministry. What do you do to keep from being bored with ministry?