Moving From Satisfaction to Serving Again

“I’m satisfied.”

“I’m full.”

These are words that we hear when someone has had a great meal.  They get up from the table and they may make a statement like one of these.  However, in our American society we often over stuff ourselves and we may say we are “satisfied”, but in reality we start to feel miserable from being overstuffed.

In church life sometimes people make statements similar to theses about their church.

“I’m happy here.”

“I’m satisfied with our church.”

“Our church is great, and friendly.”

However, the reality is that while we make such statements we often sense something underneath is wrong.

Complacency by definition: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. (Merriam-Webster).

Often we are sitting in a place where we think things are okay, or we are satisfied.  Yet, the Holy Spirit calls us to be refocused, revived, refreshed.

How do we get back to where God wants us:

  1. Get alone with God.   All too often we get satisfied or things are going along semi-smooth, and we get soft in our personal time with God.
  2. Challenge other leaders to pray and get alone with God.  You will often find that others are already feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit as well.  As leaders we may feel alone, but often God is working in the hearts of others.
  3. Start a new study on renewal for you and your leaders.  You and your leaders  may need to be refocused to help you refocus others.  There are some wonderful studies on church leadership, revitalization, and refocus.  Such studies can be done from online, books, attending seminars, or going to another church for help.
  4. Start or reinvent a Bible study within the church.  Often one reason we get complacent is that we are stuck in routine.  While habits can be good, if we are going through the motions without remembering why or just doing it because we have to they can loose their meaning.  Sometimes we need to change things up, so that we can see things things from a different perspective.

 

Remember God is still in control, and the God we follow is able to revive the soul and the church we lead.  Focus on God and let the Spirit guide you.

 

Keep on your journey with Jesus, as you serve,

D.G. Shipton

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Your Allowed Sick Time

The Flu.  A Cold.  Stomach Viruses. Even times of emotional stress.  Let’s face it sickness runs around without any thought of who will be hit next.  This year has been a severe year for the flu and colds in our church, and my wife and I also managed to catch it.  Thankfully, we are on the upswing this week.

In Twenty-two years of ministry, I praise God that I have not missed preaching on a Sunday due to being sick.  That isn’t to say I wasn’t sick, but that God managed to give me strength in such times to make it through.  Then again, it may have just been my own stubbornness.   I was raised not to miss work unless you absolutely have to, and that work ethic has kept me going at times in ministry too.  About two months ago I was so sick on a mid-week service night that my wife and some of the parishioners sent me home.  We live in a parsonage next to the church.  I was so sick that night that I don’t even remember my wife coming home or coming to bed that night.  I had no business being anywhere but in bed.

I may still keep trying to work as much as I can through sickness.  However, I also must say that we as leaders are allowed to take the time to fight off sickness and restore the strength of our physical and emotional lives.  I’ve always used care, not to go visiting other people while sick, but I still make phone calls and study.  I am realizing over the years that there have been times I should have been in bed, and let others handle things. I’m also realizing that it’s okay.  After all the only person the church is in absolute need of constantly is Jesus, and we need him too.

So, when you’re sick take the time you need to get better so you can get out there and help others.  Never visit people when sick, because you are likely to spread sickness.  When you’re well, think of the people who can fill in and help out during those times when you can’t be as available.  Then trust God to let them handle things so you can get better.  A few days off will not destroy your ministry, but pushing yourself too hard and not caring for genuine needs may destroy your life.

 

 

Blessings on the Journey

Dan Shipton