from Thom Rainer:
Ministers don't explode. You never hear of a pastor grabbing an Uzi and shooting up a congregation. Ministers implode. That is, the pressure on the outside becomes greater than the pressure on the inside and we're crushed like an empty soda can. Ministry, however you express it, is giving yourself away. Unless we are intentional to refill our souls, we'll soon get to the place where we have nothing to give.
So, what do we do? Perhaps the ministry of Jesus would offer some helpful lessons. What kind of patterns do we see in the life of Jesus?
Several come to mind. First, Jesus made a habit of prayer. Several times we're told Jesus disappeared to pray all night. Jesus knew the Scriptures. How many times do we see Jesus quoting Scripture from memory? For the minister, a disciplined life or prayer and Bible study is absolutely non-negotiable. This is NOT studying for the sermon, but studying out of our pure love for God's Word. When we become overcommitted, we think we can skip pray and study, and run off to do our ministry. But remember this: the one thing our people count us to bring to them is the evidence that we have been with Jesus — recently!
Second, Jesus kept Sabbath. Jesus reminded us God created the Sabbath for us. Sabbath speaks to our need for rest. There are obvious implications. First, make sure you're getting enough sleep. Most of us are sleep deprived. No one works well when they're fatigued. Second, take a day off. No, Sunday is not a day off. Find one day where you can focus on yourself and your primary relationships. And one more thing, take your vacations. Our ministry deserves our best energy. That means we have to be intentional about recharging our souls.
Third, Jesus had friends.