There is nothing like a busy weekend of ministry to give you a holy hangover. Over 27 years of ministry I have had a ton of weekends that were incredibly awesome, but left we with little to no energy after. This was one of those weekends - Easter 2022 - 5 services, 2000 people, 225 volunteers, 97 decisions for Jesus, and 1 Savior. It was an incredible weekend, wow! Still, I was left with a hangover of the holiest kind!
I think one of the greatest ways to recover from an incredible time of ministry is found in Matthew 14. Listen to what Scripture declares, "Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone" (Matt 14:22-23). Immediately after what? Jesus feeding the 5,000. After Jesus did ministry he 'went up into the hills by himself.' Even Jesus needed to recover from a holy hangover as a result of intense & immense ministry.
Let me give you some keys to recover from your holy hangover this Easter season.
PUSH THE PAUSE BUTTON
There is a really powerful statement that every pastor and church leader needs to hear - "He sent the people home." Yes, Jesus, paused doing ministry to recharge & recalibrate. Pastor, church leader, you are not superhuman!!! Sometimes you have to send the people away (ie. go on vacation, shut off your phone, don't respond to emails, etc).
If you don't take a break you will break. So hit the pause button. If Jesus could send the people away so can you!
CELEBRATE STORIES MORE THAN NUMBERS
This is so huge! Behind every number is a name. Make sure that you and your team are celebrating the stories of life-change more than the numbers that go into a spread sheet. I made a decision a few years ago to live and die by stories more than stats. Stats go up and down, but stories transform peoples lives.
What stories are you celebrating after Easter 2022?
MAKE FAMILY TIME A HIGHER PRIORITY
Every family faces challenges when there is a busy weekend. It does not matter what profession you are in, but the truth is ministry is difficult. Thats why you have to increase your family time after a major event or weekend. You always want your spouse or kids to know that they are the highest priority of your life.
Go to the park.
Take a bike ride.
Walk on the beach.
But don't do those things alone. Do them with your family.
GUARD AGAINST PRIDE
Most leaders struggle with pride. Yes, it's true. Why? Because we want to always take credit for our success. But we must remember it is all God. The Bible says that God provides seed to the sower. That simply means God is always the source and the outcome.
I learned many year ago: If I take the credit I must also share the blame. Each day I remind myself with this statement - Everything I have. Everything I am. Is all because of Jesus. It is a daily humility reminder!
GET READY FOR NEXT
Here's the amazing thing about Matthew 14. It starts with Jesus feeding the 5,000 men plus woman and children, it moves into Jesus resting and praying in the hills, but then it goes on to Jesus walking on water. You are not called to rest to just rest - you are called to rest to get ready for what is next.
You need to breath, so you can be prepared for what God has for you next. The truth is you can't live on the mountain top all the time. Occasionally you need to come down for some oxygen so you can climb another mountain.
Pastor/church leader, Easter 2022 is over. Now, get ready for Mothers Day and Fathers Day! The hangover is holy, but rest is still required because God has more to come!