Monday Ministry Tip: Finish Lines

I know that every person who is in ministry feels like they work all the time.  Serving in a ministry entails a lot of energy and personal investment.  Along with all the personal, hands on ministry and teaching that everyone sees, there are countless hours of hard thankless administrative and preparatory work. If you aren’t careful, you can easily burn out and become emotionally and physically drained.  

A couple of years ago I had a friend who introduced me to the idea of implementing finish lines.  A finish line is a moment that you designate as quitting time.  When you cross the finish line it is a moment of personal Sabbath.  You cease from working, thinking about work and talking about work.   It can be a time of day every week, or a once a week finish line, but it is important to define when your finish line exists.  It is even more important to keep your finish lines every time. 

In my life, I have an off day (Friday) that I don’t keep and technically Saturday is not a work day, but I usually find something work related to do on both those days.  Usually I am working on a message or some important task, and even though I should honor Friday as a day off, its really hard not to get sucked into work.  

But, my finish line is Sunday after Lunch.  We often go to lunch with people from Church so that technically still is work because I am still in Pastor mode, but after lunch on Sundays I am done.  I can completely rest.  I stop thinking about church, I stop thinking about work and I just rest.  I can hang out with Tabitha and Bailey and enjoy life.

I encourage you to pick a finish line.  Its not an easy thing to do but it is very worth it.  Even God took a Sabbath after creating the world.  Its a great example of how valuable rest can be.  I hope that you too can choose a time and a day where you say, my work is done.  Now I can focus on family, fun and God.

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ke4juh
12 years ago

Being in full-time ministry is difficult because the work doesn’t seem to stop. As we are told to Study continually and meditate day and night: Joshua 1:8 (New Living Translation) Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. But as you said, even God took time to rest, just as Nehemiah did before beginning his work on the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:11-12 (New Living Translation) So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later,… Read more »

Tony Barnette
12 years ago

Mike,

Good post man. Finding rest is one of the biggest challenges for me. It seems I always have something going on. I think your post points out that we have to some down time. Good thoughts!

Tony

Chris Barnette
12 years ago

Mike,

I often wonder why I am feeling worn out all the time. I guess it’s because I seldom rest. I think I will take your advice and just chill for at least a whole afternoon or day. Take care…Chris