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What to Do When Ministry Gets Wild

Life can sure get wild in the ministry.

Have you ever noticed how just when you don’t think things can get any busier, they do? We’ve all been there, but really and truly busy is a relative term. What’s busy to me might not be busy to you, and what’s manageable to me might be crazy busy to someone else.

Whatever your definition of busy is, it is a source of pressure in your life. Pressure is not always bad—it can cause you to grow, or it can expose weakness. The more pressure you are able to handle well, the more responsibility and authority will be handed over to you.

The bottom line is, our worth to the pastors and churches we serve is tied to our ability to handle the craziness and pressures of life and ministry.

I was forced to delegate. Delegation did not come easily to me.

When things would get overwhelming, I would think, “Just find someone to help.” But it was hard to let go of things I enjoyed doing and was good at to let others do.

It wasn’t until I moved to Tulsa that I really had no choice but to delegate. When I started working at the church, it was in addition to the job I was already doing—traveling and training children’s workers. This was before Southwest Airlines came along, and in those days there were cities where a Saturday night stay was required for the plane ticket to be reasonable.

I had no choice than to allow others to help me at the church when I was stuck in another state. It was the best thing that could have happened—it forced me to let others help me. Over the years some of the best lessons I’ve learned have been from situations I found myself in that made me ask myself, “What am I doing that someone else can do, and what do I need to be doing that only I can do?”

Jesus is our help and peace in stressful times. Are you glad you don’t have to face life alone when things get complicated? Here’s what the word says:

  • Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Not only was Jesus called the Prince of Peace; He is our Prince of Peace.”
  • John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
  • John 14:16 tells us,  “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”

Jesus never leads us into something that will harm us. This helper or comforter guides us and leads us to God’s perfect plan for our lives. God’s plan includes a peaceful life.

Jesus is the master of simplifying life.

The laws of the Old Testament were many and complex, but Jesus made it very easy to follow them. (Matthew 22:36-40) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus’ answers concerning life are always simple, even though it may not always be easy to carry them out.

Paul, too, had a quest to keep life simple. In 2 Corinthians 1:12 he writes, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.” Paul had a heart for following the Lord. He patterned his life after the example of Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 11:3). The devil tried to complicate God’s simple instructions to Adam and Eve. He still tries today to complicate our lives by injecting thoughts into our minds.

We must choose to keep life simple! It’s our choice when things get crazy.

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Jim Wideman is an internationally recognized voice in children’s and family ministry. He is a much sought after speaker, teacher, author, personal leadership coach, and ministry consultant who has over 30 years experience in helping churches thrive. Jim created the Children’s Ministers Leadership Club in 1995 that is known today as "theClub" which has touched thousands of ministry leaders each month. Jim believes his marching orders are to spend the rest of his life taking what he has learn about leadership and ministry and pour it into the next generation of children’s, youth, and family ministry leaders.