Busy in Ministry

Written by Doug Fields for Download Youth Ministry:

Have you ever noticed that in ministry-circles we’ll often treat busyness as a badge of honor? You run into a friend at a ministry conference who you haven’t seen in awhile and the exchange might sound something like this:

“Hey, how are you doing? Stayin’ busy?”
“Oh, I’m slammed! You?”
“Yep, totally in over my head!”
“Yeah, me too. Can’t believe the season we’re in right now. God is really blessing…”
“I hear you. Good times. Who needs sleep anyway, right? The enemy doesn’t sleep so why should we?”
“Glad to hear you’re doing well!”
“Yeah, you too. Congratulations!”

Doing well? Really? Is being busy truly good? Well, in the eyes of many, busyness is a sign that you’re doing something special. People need you. You’re important. You’ve arrived.

Wait, that’s a lie. Do you see it?

Busyness is not contained to the ministry-space either… it’s common and everywhere and destroying lives.

I have a good friend who has bought into this lie and his busyness translates into rarely being at home. I know him well enough to gently and lovingly confront him on this situation. He listened but quickly became defensive. He said, “Doug, I’ve got to stay busy to pay the bills.”

Personally, I think he has a lot of unnecessary bills that are more tied to status and success than survival. He recently bought a brand-new Hummer. He said he purchased the expensive vehicle because it was “safe.” Sorry, but I’m a little skeptical. He has also chosen to live in a neighborhood that is far above his means, where he can show off his overpriced military (albeit “safe”) vehicle.

I guess he was telling the truth when he said he was “staying busy to pay the bills.”

This type of living is killing people. It is destroying marriages, crippling families, shriveling hearts, and eating away at the ability to experience the fullness of life that Jesus offers.

How about your life? Do you wish you could pull back the throttle of your schedule? If so, could part of the solution be to confront the lies that are justifying your busyness? Are you making poor choices to make you feel successful in ministry?

As you continue on the journey to face those lies… start by finding some moments in your day when you can pull off the race track and stop, become quiet, and connect with Jesus? Cease activity, if only for a few moments, and consciously focus on walking with Jesus… not running ahead of him. Ask Him to help you with your choices.

I think when those of us who are leading ministries “get it” then we can begin to infuse “it” into our ministries and families

Give it some thought… unless you’re too busy.

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