I have a book on my shelf that was given to my husband about a year ago at a pastor’s conference. The title is Addicted to Busy. It has been sitting on the shelf gathering dust since my husband brought it home. Why? Because we’ve been too busy to read it. You saw that coming, didn’t you?
All of us try to cram too much into every day. Pastors are no exception. In fact, they may be the poster children for Addicted to Busy (which was written for pastors, I think, since I haven’t read it yet). Most pastors believe they are being productive when their schedules overflow with meetings and deadlines. What they don’t realize is that over productive schedules day after day, year after year lead to burnout.
We are trying to help pastors and those in leadership positions in the church prevent burnout, crazy stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed and never catching up. That’s why Standing Stone Ministry exists.
One practical way you can help your pastor is by offering to take one of those items off of his/her TO DO (OR ELSE) list. If he doesn’t hire gardeners to mow his yard, could you and your kids go over to his house on a Saturday morning and get the job done for him? Is there an event coming up at your church that you could lend a hand with? Most children’s pastors are already making plans for Christmas and may need the help of a go-fer (someone who goes here and there picking up and dropping off items). It doesn’t have to be church related; it can be a personal errand. Personal errands such has car repairs or trips to the hardware store take up lots of time and add stress to an already stressful day. If you’re not overwhelmed yourself you might just want to make a call and see if there is anything you can do to lighten the load.
My husband and I just moved from the big city (big suburbia more accurately) to a more rural area of the country. Big city pastors and rural area pastors all have one thing in common – not enough time. In suburbia I can offer to take the pastor’s car in for a smog check (required in California every two years) or get the tires rotated and the oil changed (which I can do while I shop at Costco). In rural America I can offer to pick up needed items at the hardware store or grab an extra bag of chicken feed while I’m in the town 45 miles away doing my weekly shopping. Location doesn’t determine whether you can make an offer; it may just be a different kind of offer depending on your zip code.
So, here’s another opportunity to put your thinking cap on and see if there is anything you can offer to do for your pastor(s), other church leaders, or the pastor’s spouse in the way of giving a helping hand. If you do make the offer, don’t be surprised if you get a blank stare or a startled look the first time you ask. Think about it, when was the last time someone offered you a helping hand for no other reason than to be a blessing? Mmmmhmmmmm…..thought so.
*I recognize that there are many women pastors and that all posts don’t apply equally to men and women in ministry. I try to be gender neutral and when the use of he/she or him/her is too cumbersome we default to the masculine pronoun. The reverse is true for referring to the pastor’s spouse. I hope that you can read past these masculine and feminine pronouns to the spirit behind each post —- creative ways to be a blessing to those who serve us…..and their spouses.