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De-Stress Before You Distress

Lesleigh Keetch

Family-Juggling Frenzy

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 Spinning

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. 

Lesleigh Keetch is a freelance writer in Durango, Colorado.

This article is excerpted from Children's Ministry Magazine. Subsribe today to continue to get more great ideas!

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