continuing the FIEC address:
A few thoughts on work patterns that glorify God:
If you are putting in more than 200 hours a month every month, then your prayer life will suffer; if you are having no uninterrupted days off then your tiredness levels will mean that while you do a lot the effectiveness of it will be diminished. If you have no capacity at all in your diary then your ability to lead for long term goals will suffer and so will your ability to respond to immediate crises like a death in the congregation.
In the absence of clear boundaries between work and non-work for us, our drift is always upwards towards doing more and away from ministering with a quiet spirit. We can a lot but find that none of it is fresh any more. Large quatities of ministry isn’t necessarily good ministry. And of course it is closely linked with bringing on a next generation of leaders for the glory of God. If we are not sustained in our walk with the Lord, if we burn out or don’t set patterns for going the long haul, then we won’t bring on the next generation. Not only won’t we have the time, the energy or the freedom to be creative, but the next generation will be looking at us and not being inspired to think that leading and planting churches is the best thing they could do with their lives.
Here are the key question for us:
Will the pace you establish for your ministry life be sustainable and healthy for you, your family, your church and for Christ being formed in you? And is it sustainable at a level that will allow you to develop the next generation?
If not then something will have to change because not only does that show we are reacting to demands in such a way that we things other than biblical leadership priorities dictate our patterns, but we may also be sinning against those groups. A minister said to me recently that there were all kinds of inappropriate demands that were made on his time, that were a long way outside what he should be doing or that the church ought to expect, that he would have challenged over the years if it hadn’t meant challenging those who pay him.