So, I just got off the phone with a youth pastor buddy. He’s over done. Tired. Going in a multitude of directions, at the same time, can’t give enough at home, trying to be who others want him to be, forgetting who God has CALLED him to be, and it sucks! Ministry isn’t even that fun anymore. More like those chore charts we put on the fridge & expect to magically get done.
I used to be just like this. It’s called the people-pleasing, over-achiever syndrome. Not really, but if this existed, I had it. Many of you do too.
We want to be all things to all people at all times. Cloning has not become an acceptable form of ministry folks, sorry. This ain’t gonna happen!
What saved me? I started giving 80%. That’s right. I quit giving my all to the things that were becoming too much to bear.
Ask yourself these questions, and then see if this makes sense.
1) Who will be with me the rest of my life?
These are your kids, wife/husband, best friends, siblings or parents (depends on where you are in life) but they get your 100%. These are the people that you are committed to for life, start acting like it. Show up to THEIR games, be on time for dinner & put AWAY your phone/email during family dinners or activities. They are too precious not to invest.
2) Who is here for the interim but in reality doesn’t have a say in WHO I am?
You know that parent or your boss or just weird emails asking you to water the plants in the lobby. It’s this little word called “no.” Hang out with a two year old and practice it for a bit. This is where the 80% becomes vital to your survival. If it doesn’t matter & you are doing it “because,” then cut back.
I’m a perfectionist. I didn’t used to stop until it was all perfect. But I was dying. With the 80% rule, I plan a program to a T and then if I accomplish 80%, it’s a success from a logistics side! It took a long time to change my mentality & not feel like I was failing at being a leader.
If it’s relationships that are bogging you down. Instead of giving 30 minutes, give them 20. This will cut out the emotional energy that is draining you & will put you on a sustainable path where you won’t just be surviving. Or if they are the ones who ONLY drain you, take a chill pill & let them out a bit. It’s ok to let relationships go, especially if they damaging to your soul.
3) What can be delegated?
STOP DOING IT!!! Seriously. Write out what you expect yourself to accomplish. Often times, at least for myself, my worst enemy is my own competitiveness to be the best. Once you have written it out, find 20% of all you do & either cross it off cause it’s not gonna happen or hand it off.
This 80% rule is what has saved me. God didn’t call us to be perfect, just to follow him. That could mean giving up some things so we stay healthy & of value to the people who are in this with us, our family. It is an adjustment but worth it. Before I realized this I was depressed, my job was a job… not really a ministry and I was so worn out I wasn’t any good to those who needed me.
So go get ‘em and work out that calendar, figure out your 80% and stick with it!