Last night, I had a dream. In the dream, I was supposed to be in a program scheduled for ministers. I borrowed a friend’s car (a Mercedes-Benz C-Class, to be precise), which I use to borrow whenever I want to travel in real life. I tried to be in the place of the program early, and I was so concerned about the program that I didn’t consider the car, myself, or my well-being. So on the third day of the program, I was rushing to keep the time as usual; I didn’t want to be late for the program. In the middle of the bush, my car stopped. The engine would not start even though I tried to start it. I was stranded in the middle of the bush, unsure of how to proceed. I was gone for over two hours without seeing a single motorist. Nobody was stopping to lend me a helping hand. It took me four hours or so to stand before I noticed a biker approaching. I cut him off to tell him what had happened and I implored him to assist in getting me to the program. Even though I was running late, he took me to the program. I got to meet my friends and coworkers. They were already a part of the program, which has advanced rapidly. I started looking for a mechanic to check the car and determine what the issue was after the program. When we got to the car’s location, the mechanic checked the car’s engine oil and discovered it was too low after making all the necessary checks and not finding any issues. The only reason my car’s engine stopped was that I was unable to check it before I left for the program in the morning. My dream concerned me a great deal. And I became conscious. What can I learn from this dream, I wondered to myself. What does God wish to convey to me?
Lesson from my dream:
- While it is our responsibility as ministers to act appropriately when necessary, we also have to exercise caution and regularly assess our well-being.
- We frequently lose sight of the lives of those closest to us, as well as our own families. We are completely engrossed in the ministry’s operations and the obligations placed upon us.
- We require time to relax and to allow ourselves the opportunity to think. You must take time for self-care. We eventually get sick as a result of ministry-related exhaustion. We must acknowledge that we cannot perform our ministry duties flawlessly when we are ill or in poor health. We are unable to satisfy everyone else’s needs. Thus, this dream has taught me how crucial it is to look after oneself. Yes, you are needed by your ministry, and your congregation wants you to take care of them, but you also need to realize that your health is critical to the ministry’s ability to function on schedule, in the right space, and in good condition.
Protecting one’s privacy is one of the most important things a pastor can do to enhance their well-being. Necessary things to do:
- Try to avoid keeping a church office in your residence.
- Keep your phone number separate from the church’s.
- Encourage congregation members to only call you in an emergency using your home number.
- Give your membership and staff notice that you will be taking a regular day off from church work to engage in personal time. Too many pastors are irregular which could give the idea that family time and your own time are unimportant.
- Be brief when interacting with parishioners during family outings. It’s not required of you to start lengthy conversations. What counts most? Your family!
You must take care of yourself as you put a lot of effort into your ministry activities to avoid burning out. They need you to be well, and you should be aware that if you become ill, it will be necessary to find a replacement minister who will be able to better serve the congregation. As ministers of Christ, we have to serve His church and partake in the gift of rest that He has provided. Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Martin H. Kamaidan