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  • Andy Piscotti

Pre-Christmas Stress & Tips on How to Deal with It!


Christmas is coming. Year-end giving campaigns are being built. Annual reports are right around the corner. Most of your day is spent thinking about how we are going to get people to come back after the holidays. January vision series are a nagging thought hanging over current deliverables. Due dates are fast approaching to ensure we can promote accordingly. Stress is high. But let’s be honest, it always is.


And in case you weren’t stressed enough there are only 14 weeks until Ash Wednesday and 21 weeks until Easter.


I see you, I’ve been you.


The phrase, “It’s only a season.” makes you throw up in your mouth a little. You move your way through each season exhausted, yearning to spend more time with your family, waiting for a pause that never comes. How can you take time off with so much to be done?


Burnout is real. Mental health struggles are real. Emotional health issues are real. Physical health issues are real. Relational struggles are real.


I see you, I’ve been you.


You are doing kingdom work. You get to connect people to a relationship with Jesus, and lives are changed. You are going out into the world, and disciples are being made. It is wonderful, it is amazing, it is the Great Commission.


I see you, I’ve been you.


I want you to know a few things…


You can have a front row seat to watching God transform lives, and still experience burn out.


You can use your gifts for the glory of God, and still struggle with your mental health.


You can be part of an amazing God centered ministry and still have broken relationships.


I see you, I’ve been you.


Think about this… You cannot pour a cup of tea with an empty kettle. How can you continue to pour out, help people, make a difference, when you are depleted? Today my friend, if you find your kettle empty, maybe you need to take a break and fill up. Request the time off, book that vacation, Read a book, go to coffee with a friend, talk to a therapist, take a walk and thank God for the beauty that He created. Whatever your next step is, take it! It is okay that you are not okay, but it is not okay to stay that way.


I know it feels like it, but I promise you, you are not alone. There are others out there that are feeling tired, worn out, struggling, fighting a similar battle, thinking they are the only ones feeling this way. I know this because remember, I’ve been you. I’m not the only one, there are leaders out there that are talking about their struggles, offering ways they have found that can help. Shawn Johnson at Red Rocks Church in Colorado and Craig Groeschel Life.Church both have entire message series dedicated to mental health. There are also resources like restorepastors.com for people in ministry who need a break either through a retreat or having someone walk alongside you. But, right now, here are a few tips on how to start the journey to dealing with the stress of ministry during this Christmas season:


  • Take a Break (Use your vacation days and unplug from everything that has to do with work. Take time to refresh and rest!)

  • Spend time with those that refuel you (Closest friends, family members, or you small group. Find people to hang out with that don't care that you work at a church and don't talk about ministry. Find people that speak life into YOU not take life from you.)

  • Send time replenishing with God (Nothing helps better than just spending time alone not talking to God, just listening to Him in silence. I know it is hard for most of us but "Be still and experience who He really is to YOU!)

  • Do something YOU enjoy (If you don't have a hobby, find one. It will help relieve the stress in your life and help you stay in healthy space.)

  • Find a counselor (Not someone in your church, but someone you can confide in and that is a professional.)

  • Exercise (You have to take time to stay healthy. We are in this for the long haul and we need you to be in good health to make it with us! We are better together.)


Yes, Christmas is coming, but please don’t let the work that needs to be done distract you from being present in the moment. Don’t lose sight of why there is a Christmas, the birth of our Savior that came to this earth. That tiny baby in a manger that changed everything.


p.s.

If you’re that friend that is reading this and thinking, you don’t know me, you can’t possibly understand what I’m going through. To that I say, you’re right… I can’t literally see you, I may not know you, and I don’t know the feelings you are feeling right now… but wherever you are, whatever you are feeling, we have a God that sees you, that knows you, that loves you. Not because of all the things you are doing for Him, but because He made you. If nobody has told you today, God loves you, and you are doing a good job. Cheering you on!



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