Finding People To Journey With in Recovering From Preaching
Finding People To Journey With
How do you recover from the strain of preaching? That has been the theme of the last few posts. In this post we will consider how to go about finding people to journey with in recovering from preaching strain.
Encouragement to Find People to Journey With
It is clear in Scripture that God intends for us to journey with people in general. Here are some New Testament passages:
It’s pretty clear, isn’t it? We are not to go through life alone. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have relationships with people that meet these qualities. As I think about churches of which I was a part, I realize that pride keeps us from sharing out struggles with people. There is a desire to “look good”. So, we keep our messes, our wounds, our sins and our struggles behind a closed life.
This is a dangerous practice, especially for preachers. Preaching is a draining activity, and preachers regularly report feeling drained, and even depressed after a heavy weekend of preaching activity. Many things help with that, as we have seen in previous posts. But one of the most important things to do is to find people to journey with.
Where to Find People
So, where do you go about finding people to journey with in recovering from preaching strain? There are several levels of friendships that can help you with such recovery.
People Who Fill You
Who are the people who fill your tank? There are some people in your life, likely, who feed energy into you, rather than drain it away. Ministry, and especially preaching, is a draining activity, and then ministering to people is a draining experience. So, who are those people who make you laugh, or with whom you can discuss ideas in a life-giving way? Think about inviting one or more of them into an ongoing relationship, where you gather regularly for interaction that simply gives you energy. Such people might be in your church, or they might be in your community. Set up a meeting one-on-one, and ask if they would be willing to regularly meet with you individually or as a group.
When we lived in California, we were away from family. My wife and I bonded with two other couples. We met monthly for play and talk, Our children called each other “cousin”, because they were far away their own cousins. Those monthly times of playing cards, of being at the beach, etc. were life-giving.
Another level of people who will help you in recovering from preaching and ministry is people who are involved in ministry. I find it interesting that this is something that is not only true for ministry. It is an emphasis for business as well. Here is a blog from Forbes magazine about seeking people with six characteristics of people who will help you become a better you. Think about this in the context of people who are going to help you become better in ministry.
People in Like Ministry
Two different times I went to people who had similar philosophies of ministry and invited them to meet regularly to talk about ministry. I decided to do this after an official meeting of a regional group of ministers and elders from my denomination. It was a draining meeting. As I left, I reflected on what I would want from a meeting with other ministry leaders. I wanted to discuss leadership issues, and I wanted to talk about preaching techniques. And so, I began to ask about people in my region who were known as leaders in thriving ministries. I made lunch appointments with each, one-on-one, and asked if they were interested in forming a group that would meet regularly for such discussion. All but one agreed. Six of us began to meet monthly, and it was a renewing experience.
Those are a couple of places to go about finding people to journey with in recovering from preaching strain. In the next post we’ll reflect on finding one or two people with whom you can share your struggles. Begin to pray now about those that might be invited to navigate the intricacies of life and ministry with you.
There is a beautiful rendering of the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked” that I’ve watched several times recently. As you watch, think about the people in your life who have helped you, for good.