De-Stress Before You Distress


Family-Juggling Frenzy

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Most children’s ministers struggle with balancing family time
and ministry commitments. The veterans offer this advice.

  • Know your priorities. There are boundaries between
    work and family, but it’s best not to work for anyone who tells you
    that your family isn’t your first priority. Family, especially
    children, sometimes must be included in work-related situations.
    The leader who understands that automatically becomes part of your
    extended family and is someone you’d be willing to take on extra
    tasks for in the future.
  • Make time for family. “If it weren’t for my family
    supporting me in what I do, it would be almost impossible for me to
    do the everyday things I do,” says children’s minister Bonnie
    Gallegos. Always set aside family time. And as with time off, don’t
    let anything except true emergencies usurp this time. Have dinner,
    play games, or just take time to talk.
  • Don’t forget: You have a life. Remember — you’re a
    spouse, parent, child, friend, and individual before you’re a
    children’s minister.

Stress-Free Plate

Anyone involved in children’s ministry can attest that being busy
is a way of life and that the unexpected is the norm. All this
means that “leisure time” probably isn’t in your vocabulary. So how
do the veterans keep stress from taking over?

  • Trust God. Keep faith in God that he’ll continue to
    lead you in the right direction. Pray often. Keep a constant
    dialogue going with God.
  • Accept mistakes — then move on. Have faith in
    yourself that you learn from mistakes. Don’t allow yourself to be
    derailed by a mistake. And don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep
    moving forward.
  • Get support. Rely on at least two peers you can count
    on who’ll be there for you in times of stress, even if only by
    phone. Surround yourself with people who are in line with your
    beliefs, values, and faith.

By following these tips, you’ll be making strides toward
lowering the level of stress in your life. 

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Lesleigh Keetch is a freelance writer in Durango,

This article is excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine.
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