De-Stress Before You Distress


Secrets to eliminating your stress–from children’s
ministry veterans.

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It’s no secret — children’s ministry is a lot of fun. It’s also
a lot of work. And no matter how you’re involved — whether
fearlessly leading the way or serving as behind-the-scenes support
— there’s little doubt that you know how it feels to be stressed

Stress is a leading cause of burnout and attrition in children’s
ministry. In fact, only a tiny minority of people in ministry say
they don’t feel moderately to severely stressed at times.

We’ll probably never be able to totally eliminate stress from our
lives and jobs-and a small amount of stress can actually be
healthy. But you can learn to manage unavoidable stress and
circumvent needless anxiety.

We gathered veteran children’s ministers from across the United
States and asked them to reveal their secrets for de-stressing
their ministry. Here’s what these been-there-done-that children’s
ministers had to say.

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No leader is immune to stress. And while some deal with stress
better than others, stress still erodes well-being and can lead to
physical and emotional problems. Fend off stress with these

  • Take mandatory time off. Make one day per week a day
    off and stick to it. Don’t make any work-related commitments on
    that day. Don’t lead small groups or church-related functions.
    Think of it as wearing a name tag that says, “Today I’m not a
    children’s minister.”
  • Get organized. Tidy your workspace. Evaluate how you
    work. Learn to work smarter — not harder. Delegate. Avoid
    multitasking; instead, focus on completing one task before moving
    to another.
  • Think small. Organize your thoughts and actions by
    breaking large tasks into smaller ones. Often large tasks may seem
    overwhelming, but smaller pieces are easier to accomplish.
  • Focus on decisiveness. Avoiding making decisions —
    even those we dread-is a waste of time. Even a wrong decision is
    better than none at all if we’re forced to learn from and live with
    the results. Be careful, be considerate, but don’t


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