How To Stay Spiritually And Mentally Healthy In Children's Ministry
When a new school year starts, I don’t know about you, but in the Moreno household pandemonium has a way of taking over our lives if we’re not careful. Managing two careers, children, academics, sporting events, relationships, and sick days can feel like a juggling act. If you’re a children’s ministry leader reading this right now, let’s not forget to mention the stress of managing the schedules of volunteers, some of which have completely checked out, and trying to come up with innovative ways to reach children and families. It’s enough to make any person’s head spin.
This is why it is so important to prioritize spiritual health. While a healthy spiritual state can produce a variety of physical health benefits including reduced blood pressure, anxiety, and a strengthened immune system, for the children’s ministry leader it offers so much more. Spiritually healthy children’s ministry leaders position themselves to have compassion for the volunteer who steps down, extend forgiveness towards those who have offended them, and have the capacity to show authentic love to that difficult child. Case in point…when life throws you lemons it is those who are spiritually healthy that are able to make lemonade and share it with others.
Now I wish I could tell you that I have always been the best when it comes to spiritual health but unfortunately for a lot of us in children’s ministry when the heat is up in our lives, the spiritual health department is the first one that shuts down. Trust me. I’ve been there. Too often we make the mistake of allowing the work of the ministry to take the place of our personal relationship with God. The end result is empty cups that produce dry and powerless ministry. If that has been you lately, check out these 5 Tips on how to stay spiritually healthy as a children’s minister.
Learn To Stop & Pray
Prayer reactivates our faith and renews our minds. It allows us to be present before a God who loves us and cares for us more than we will ever know. Through prayer, we receive wisdom from his Holy Spirit and learn how to make the right decisions in our day-to-day lives. Most importantly, prayer strengthens our relationship with God and grounds us in his love.
Invest in Your Health and Fitness
Investing in your health is so important in children’s ministry. Ignoring your body will only make you more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Your body is a ministry. God calls us to care for the bodies that he has given us as they are temples of his Holy Spirit. Being intentional with the nutrients you get into your body and maintaining a healthy exercise routine can combat disease, improve your mood, boost your energy, and make you more prepared to do the work he has called you to do in children’s ministry.
Have Fun With Your Family
Repeat after me…. HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FAMILY!!! As a mother of two children who are growing like weeds, let me be (probably not the first) to tell you that you will never get this time back. Don’t waste it. Learn when to put your work aside. When it comes to your family fill every moment with as much fun and joy as possible. You will regret it if you don’t and besides, that pending project will be waiting for you when you get back. Don’t allow work to prevent you from making memories with your family that will last a lifetime. Allow the laughter and joy you experience with your loved ones to rejuvenate your soul.
Get An Accountability Friend That’s Not Your Spouse
Everybody needs that one accountability friend they can talk to and just be themselves. If you don’t have one, get one! Great accountability friends help you to stay on track, push your limits, motivate you and ultimately share in your happiness and success. Research has even shown that when it comes to reaching goals, accountability partners boost chances for success up to 95%. Of course, the decision on who that accountability friend is should be made with all wisdom and appropriate boundaries set. Best to stick with same-sex friendships to avoid any confusion at home. Trust me. I have seen ugly accusations made and marriages ripped apart as a result of what started as an innocent opposite-sex friendship that warped into an emotional affair.
Visit Another Children’s Ministry That’s Doing Well
Carve out some time to grow. As children’s ministry leaders it is so easy to avoid our own personal growth because we’re always busy doing. Don’t let children’s ministry turn you into a hamster on a wheel. That is so unhealthy. Get off that wheel and be intentional about visiting other children’s ministries in your area. Especially ministries that are succeeding where you may be failing. And do me a favor when you’re on your visit… JUST LISTEN! Don’t share what you’re doing. Just come with good questions and absorb all the wisdom you can from a ministry that is doing extremely well.
So what tips resonated with you the most?
Check out more resources available through Child's Heart