The Role of bi-vocational ministry and the need to refuel is necessary to avoid burnout. To avoid burnout one needs to identify ways to refuel the energy expended in their challenging role of bi-vocational ministry and the need to refuel. Exercise, proper diet, and adequate rest cannot be over-emphasized for long-term health, stamina, and creativity.
The Need to Refuel
One analogy is that of an automobile over the course of a year. It order to function without failure it needs to visit the occasional gas station, be serviced for lubrication and filter replacements, undergo routine preventive maintenance, be cleaned, have inspections and documentation kept current, and so forth. Just as these things are essential to problem-free automobile service, similar things are essential to problem-free bi-vocational ministry.
A few tips include:
- Block out multiple windows of time for quality family time each week.
- Maintain spontaneity and the capacity to have fun.
- Schedule a vacation or time away from church and work at the same time.
- Leave work at the office. When you come home bring “you” with you.
- Discover ways to expend excess energy, tension, and anxiety.
- Spend quality time with God in a manner that renews your spirituality.
- Practice self-improvement on multiple levels.
- Keep track of progress, accomplishments, and successes in the pursuit of your goals.
- Celebrate achievements.
- Enjoy hobbies.
- Eliminate television and media as much as possible (especially violent programming before bedtime).
- Limit or eliminate the time spent on online minister’s forums and even Facebook. Use such only for essential networking. Convert this time to value-adding activities and more important priorities and projects.
- Develop good reading habits.
- Pace yourself.
This list may be far from complete, but these and other such things can help you remain fresh and invigorated if you are involved in bi-vocational ministry.
I wrote this article because over 20 years of my personal ministry has included bi-vocational ministry. Looking back I have learned from my failures and successes. My desire is to share my learning experiences with others like you.
Dr. Fred Childs