By Neil Christians
I was sitting in our new member class eating, eating lunch and talking to some new families when the question came up.
“So, what do you do for the church?”
“Well, I work with children, youth, young adults and families. Pretty much from birth through 30 years old; the first third of life.”
“What do you do with all the different age groups? What is your primary area of responsibility?”
What is it that we do? How do you explain this to someone else so they really understand the whole spectrum of what’s entailed in our calling?
Here we go! We are… (deep breath)
Mentor, sounding board, staff tech support, pop culture studier, event coordinator, small group leader, counselor, preacher, life long learner, teacher, visionary, communicator, event planners, custodian, curriculum writer, recommendation writer, chapel leader, wannabe video-gamer…
(another deep breath)
…community service leader, van driver, social director, peace maker, relationship advisor, family therapist, theology simplifiers, ministers, hospital visitors, nurse/nurse assistant, budget manager, parent advisors, disciple makers…
(another deep breath)
… , devotional leader, food & pizza planers, child development learners, college advisors, community builders, passionate follower of Jesus, social media guru, pop culture enthusiast, small group trainer, advertizing & marketing, disciplinarian, youth advocate, worship leader, prayer warrior, …
Well, that’s 45 just to get you started. What else can you think of that I’ve missed? I’m sure there are plenty more!
With so much to do and so many hats to wear, it’s easy to get lost. It’s easy to become burned out, especially when the complaints start coming your way. We need to make sure that we are taking care to guard ourselves.
If what we do is so important and if our students are so precious to us, then it only make sense that we would protect ourselves to ensure that we can give our best to them. You cannot give someone a drink of water until you make sure that your glass is filled. How full is your glass right now? Whatever it is, make sure you take the time to fill up your cup. If you’re not good at making sure you do this, then take your own advice and have an accountability partner who makes sure you stay on track. It’s too important to let ourselves get burned out.
What do you need to do to make sure your glass is full? A movie day? A spiritual retreat? A nap? Shutting off the cell phone? Taking a weekend away? Maybe, being that today is Valentines day, a romantic date night with your spouse or fun night out with your friends. What is it that you need? Take some time and… think about it.
Join the conversation on Facebook.com/FirstThird!
Neil Christians is the Director of the Family Ministry Team at Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC. He has been in paid children,youth and family ministry for 20 years and is passionate about mentoring others in a life of faith. Other passions include Harry Potter, movie clips and his favorite band Switchfoot. So, watch for references to these in his blog posts.
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