In case of emergency, put your mask on first, and then, assist your loved ones or the person next to you. We’ve all heard these instructions when flying and and they really do make sense. You can’t help someone else if your not taking care of yourself first.
As leaders, this same rule applies. Lately, I’ve read far too many facebook group posts about people who are struggling in ministry and ready to quit. I get it, ministry can be hard, tiring, frustrating, thankless etc. It’s very true that when I meet with young people who tell me they want to be a kids pastor or youth pastor, I tell them straight up, “if you aren’t called, don’t get in.” I’ve been in some absolutely brutal and ugly church situations. (My stories often encourage others that their situation isn’t so bad.)
One thing that I’ve learned from those challenges is to put my mask on first! I must lead myself well, because if I don’t I can’t help anyone else. So what can I share that might help you if you volunteer or lead in ministry?
One, get away periodically and check your calling. Meaning, review WHY? you got into ministry or volunteered to begin with. Why did you say yes? What motivated you to serve? Remember your first love. Often times, where we as Christians go wrong is we forget our first love, our calling into new life, our relationship with our Savior.
We are so busy “doing” Jesus instead of “being” Jesus to the world. When we do this we often run out of gas, get burned up, angry, bitter, and critical.
Second, daily put on your mask and breathe. Breathe in the Word of God and relationship with Jesus. Read for the pleasure of reading and do it in a new way.
What do you do when you feel a lack of “oxygen” coming on?