“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” – Matthew 14:22-23, NIV
As pastors and leaders, we deal with many things within the ministry. Ministry is rewarding in many ways but can also be very challenging.
We need to practice the art of self-care.
There’s a condition called compassion fatigue. It’s common for people who are gifted with mercy or are highly empathetic.” I encourage those in caring professions to schedule time away. This is what Jesus often did in the New Testament.
After feeding five thousand, he withdrew to the mountains.
If Jesus needed space to process and decompress, so do we.
Pastors, I know you love serving others. I know that you love pouring into them. Please remember, however, that you need the space and grace to deal with your own feelings. Be intentional about setting aside time to retreat and pray. While you are at it, pray and ask the Lord to show you when you need to set firm boundaries to guard your heart on a daily basis.
- If you can get away – go somewhere where you can simply chill. My wife’s happy place is the beach, mine is the mountains. I like the mountains because there are fewer people which I find more relaxing.
- Book an Airbnb rather than stay in a hotel. You will be more relaxed. Trust me!
- Don’t just think about it. Take out your calendar and make some plans!
- Bring a book that does not pertain to your line of work. Read for the pleasure of reading and not for fact-finding research.
- Do what you love to do! What hobby do you love but haven’t had the time to enjoy? Do it!
These are just a few ideas that I hope you will consider. They help me for sure.