Are You Working Harder than God Intended?

A recent survey by Lifeway Research reports that 65 percent of Protestant pastors work 50 or more hours a week. And many of the pastors responding to the survey say the extra time they spend results in less time with their families and less time with God.

My experience is pastors tend to overwork when they assume extra hours make them more effective in ministry. That's simply not true, and this misguided notion can actually keep others in your church from developing into mature Christian leaders.

I know how it is, when you get frustrated with the way things are going, you tend to want to control everything. It is human nature but it isn't the way God wants us to operate. It turns your ministry into one of those "whack-a-mole" games. The moment you whack down one problem, another one pops up. It's never ending.

And that makes ministry frustrating! But it is also a natural by-product of trying to do everything yourself instead of teaching your members how to minister.

Trying to control everything or do everything not only saps your energy; it also means you're not doing anything particularly well. God shaped you to do something specific with your ministry. You've been created with specific skills and gifts. When you try to be good at everything, you'll end up not being good at anything.

What's the antidote to your overloaded ministry? The apostle Paul says it is "to equip God's people to do His work." (Ephesians 4:12 NLT) Your job isn't to do all the work of the church. It's to prepare your members to do it.

At Saddleback we do this through our C.L.A.S.S. 301 where we teach members to discover their God-given S.H.A.P.E. If you don't have a tool for getting people involved in ministry in your church, this would be a great tool to use.

Help the members of your congregation develop their God-given ministry assignments. They'll be blessed and you will be blessed by spending more time with your family and by spending the time with God that is necessary to keep your congregation pressing forward with purpose.

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