Bailey McBride has an excellent article in the Christian Chronicle http://www.christianchronicle.org/ regarding keeping our ministers from being overburdened. He addresses important issues which I bring to the attention of you young whipper-snappers out there who are knee-deep in the wonderful work of God's kingdom.
One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after the wind (Eccl. 4:6). Once again, the wisdom of God baffles the human mind. Less is more....and lasts longer. If you are going to complete the marathon don't spend all your much-needed energy by mile five.
How do you last a long time and find yourself increasingly enamoured with your work well down the road? Here are some clues:
1. LEARN TO SAY NO. My first few years in ministry found me saying yes to demanding members when I clearly wanted to say no. I could not possibly attend all the functions some members felt I should. Congregations are willing to house you on Guilt Street and let you abide there for as long as you can. Don't succumb. Learn to say no when you mean no.
2. ATTEND A SEMINAR NOT OF US. Each year I attend Catalyst in Atlanta put on by John Maxwell's INJOY team. The reason I go to this particular event is it caters to the younger minds. I'm 59 and I want to know what's connecting with younger generations.
3. REMEMBER YOU ARE MOST LIKELY THE DUMBEST PERSON ON THE COMMITTEE. I'm serious. I know it in every meeting I attend....and such awareness frees me to be vigorous about what I see needed among us. I fight and push and nag and complain....knowing all along my level of lacking competency, but wanting to see if God swings open some great and wonderful door. Sometimes He does! I am never a better thinker or more spiritual than anyone around me...ever. Such, ironically, doesn't defeat me. It frees me to try.
4. KINGDOM MATTERS ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON YOU....BUT ON GOD. Romans 9:16 keeps me sane. It keeps me from going over the edge of feeling trapped and suffocational. We deal with overwhelming pains, sorrows and needs. We can't possibly hold up under the pressures of making ideal choices and perfect decisions. The truth be told, we don't know how to fix squat. This passage says, "If it is to be, it is up to Him." He makes things work. We don't run the show.
Ah, these are simply man-noticed ideas. What works for you to help you remain as fired up today about your mission as when you began? For me? Everyday I feel like the teens when they come home from camp...except for one thing. It doesn't fade!