Last Friday I posted about seven joy killers in ministry–today I want to share some ways that I believe joy can be restored…at least these are some things that work for me.
#1 - Have Fun!
I was in a conversation recently when a guy asked me, “So what do you do for fun?”
I had no answer!
THEN it dawned on me that I had become all work and no play! SO…this year…2008…I am going to start having some fun. If John 10:10 is true…I need to max out life.
One of the problem with every miserable person I know is that all of us have allowed ourselves to fall into the trap that having any kind of fun is a sin. We use the excuse, “Well, the devil never takes a day off,” never stopping to realize that we should not be attempting to imitate him!
What’s your plan for having fun this next month? Seriously! You won’t do it unless you plan it–so go for it! (I want to drive a race car. ride a snowmobile and go somewhere out west and kill some sort of innocent animal with a high powered rifle!!!)
#2 - Time Away!
One of the things that has made it on to my schedule for this next year are at least 12 days of solitude. One of the things I need is extended time away with God…that means no e-mail, no cell phone, no television…just me, a Bible, a journal…and peace and quiet. I have one of those days coming up…and every time I have one I leave feeling extremely refreshed.
By the way…these days do not magically appear on your calendar…they must be planned intentionally and guarded like crazy!
#3 - Be An Encourager
Usually when a pastor hears of another pastor or church being successful they REFUSE to rejoice with them. We all go into saying something like this, “Yeah–I heard about that church and what is going on over there is good…but did you know…” AND then we list the things we do not like and tear them apart.
God simply does not reward that type of behavior…He never has. The best thing we can do in ministry (and life) is to be an encourager.
#4 - Take Some Risks
There is NOTHING that will steal a pastors joy more than playing it safe. However, all too often we desire leading in such a way that will cost us nothing.
I have discovered that when I take risks…for some strange reason…I experience joy. Usually when I have not been willing to take risks it is because I am violating Ephesians 4:30…and ANYTIME anyone does this joy just seems to fly away!
What risk do you need to take? Is there a decision you are delaying? Scared? Good!!! If God said to do it then do it!!!
#5 - Understand That God Cares About Your Church More Than You Do!
God knew about NewSpring Church before the foundations of the world…He’s been caring about it for thousands of years. AND…after I am gone He will still care for it.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that the church is HIS…that He would build it. He wants it to grow more than I do. He wants to see people come to faith in Him more than I do. He wants to see people set free more than I do.
Anytime I feel like I am the only one who desires good at NewSpring it robs me of my joy…but when I realize that this isn’t actually my church, that it belongs to Jesus and He CARES about it more than me…it brings me great joy just to think about the fact that He has allowed me to be involved…and that the best is yet to come!