Sunday, June 6, 2010

Battling Ministry Stress

Dear Friends,

At one time or another we all experience stress. A practical formula I have used to handle ministry stress is:

Stop – even if it causes you more stress than keeping going!

Think – through your stress-inducing ‘to do’ list. When can you take time out with God? Mark it on your calendar. Make it soon. Keep your appointment – 15 minutes will do.

Reflect – when you make it into your still point – on something peaceful, something pleasurable, something poignant, or something precious. Read Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Philippians 4:4,6,7 “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness and everything working together for good will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Empty your stress box of other people’s expectations – then – fill it with expectations of God’s company, compassion, and calm.

Sing a soul song or a calm quiet favorite hymn. Make it a prayer. A favorite of mine is:

“Drop thy still dew of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease.
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.”

Smile at God, yourself, and others (you can do this in your mind). Then smile at your stress (stress hates being smiled at) and go out in His strength to tackle the rest of the day!

Formulas can help, but only if they restore your focus. Make sure you are ‘full of the spirit,’ fixed on His Word, and focused on the Father. That will make the old stress Grinch run squealing away.

In His peace,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine

2 comments:

  1. LOL! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies! :) I have practiced these 'Grinch busting' techniques that you have mentioned Jill and they work if I work them. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Jill and your team, I just wanted to encourage you with a story of how your magazine (via a missionary in Japan) helped a wife in rural Australia in her struggle with depression. You can go to her blog to read the story here: http://dimondsinthebush.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-book.html

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