Friday, March 13, 2015

Balancing your buckets

I'd be an insensitive idiot to suggest that those who work in churches are under equal stress as doctors, nurses, counsellors, the police or first responders. They face situations which I would crack under and do an awesome job nonetheless.

But in ministry, you do get the privilege to walk alongside people.

Messy people.
Hurting people.
And everyone, inevitably, gets a season.

Over time, without a break, the pressure can take a toll.

For everyone, including those in ministry, has a number of internal buckets they carry.
A bucket for emotional health.
A bucket for physical wellbeing.
A bucket for spiritual welfare.
A bucket for relational strength.

Sometimes, your buckets will be unbalanced.

You'll feel overwhelmed.
You'll be worn down.
You'll feel spiritually dry.
You'll get a growing feeling of apathy towards others.

It's at these times you'll be in danger of burnout - physical or emotional - or compassion fatigue.

For, once you're bucket is unbalanced - with your or another's issues - then you aren't in a healthy position to help someone else.

This is why holidays, particularly pre-emptive holidays, matter.

Time away gives those in ministry a chance to evaluate, if not empty, some of their buckets and allows them space to be able to help others with theirs.

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