This week I got a text from a mother asking if I would pick up her son and take him to VBS at our local church. I wish I could say I jumped for joy and texted back immediately but I didn’t. The truth is, I stared at the text for a while. After a prior week of hosting out-of-town guests, juggling the in-laws, and catching flights, I was exhausted. I thought to myself…What am I signing myself up for if I say yes. I knew one pick-up would lead to another and then another and then BAM!!!! I’ve signed myself up to be the VBS bus driver for the entire week. Like any well-intentioned person looking for a way out I headed straight upstairs to someone who was even busier than me, my husband. Surely, he would say not possible and give me the excuse…I mean the logical response I was looking for as to why I just couldn’t carve out the time. After sharing with my husband the request, he responded with a jubilant absolutely! DARN! I had forgotten not only is he the busiest man I know, he’s the nicest! My carnal way of escape was ruined! Soon thereafter I texted the mother back to let her know her son would be covered.
I took my daily walk not long after that. A habit I picked up a few months ago. I have come to cherish those walks and the alone time I get to experience with the fresh air and with God. He has never failed to meet me at every one. This walk was no different. As I began to reflect, the holy spirit began to seize my thoughts. As I was so obsessed with this idea of what I was signing myself up for if I said Yes, the holy spirit gently posed a different question in my mind. Esther, What will you be missing if you say no? I replied back, OH HERE WE GO! (Yes, the holy spirit and I have that type of relationship! Haha!!!) The list came flooding in and my heart was softened with every step.
To be perhaps the only light in a child’s day who so desperately needs it.
To invite a child into a like-minded community of faith filled with wonder and fun where they can learn more about God.
To potentially be responsible for getting a child where they need to be to have an encounter with God that completely transforms their life thereafter.
So what’s my point? As next generation leaders for Christ, the struggle is real! We get busy. Listen, I get it! With all the responsibilities that lay before us in the ministry, and all this while we’re trying to juggle our own lives and families in the process, being over-extended and a little burnt-out is going to happen. That’s why taking care of our own mental health and being intentional when it comes to self-care is of utmost importance for those in ministry. Hear me now…you are going to have times where you have to say “no” for your own sanity. But, as this kidmin leader was gently reminded the other day…
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of ministry that you forget to do ministry. Don’t get so caught up in programming and producing that you miss precious moments and opportunities that God may send you to be the hands and feet of Christ. It is precisely these moments that God uses to remind us why we do what we do. Some of our greatest impacts for his kingdom may be found in unexpected places we deem to be of minor importance in the larger scheme of things.
So why not put ministry back into ministry! Have you felt any gentle nudges recently? Press on Children’s Ministry Leader! I am praying for you.