One Priority Briefing for Congregational Leaders from George Bullard Monday, December 7, 2020
A Family of Baptist Congregations in the Midlands of South Carolina
Our One Priority: Starting and Strengthening Churches to Serve as Vital and Vibrant Missional Communities.
Respite During a Pandemic – Part Two
Last week in Part One of this series, I ended with these questions: What is your plan for self-care? How will you get the respite you need and deserve for all the emotional, physical, and spiritual efforts you have put into ministering in the midst of a pandemic? (See Part One HERE.)
This week I come to you to ask, how are you doing in answering these questions? What plan have you developed? If you have not given some prayer and pondering time to this, I hope you will find some time – perhaps an hour or so – to do so very soon. If you are looking for some handles or starting points, I have five to suggest that I have used to determine my own plan.
Nothing: I do not mean to sit in a dark room and not hear anything or say anything. I mean to give yourself permission to do nothing for a few minutes or an hour or so on some days. Those of us in ministry always have these guilt feelings if we are not doing something. This starting point may be the hardest of the five. I can think about humming “Holy Spirit breathe on me” during such times.
Pause (or Stop) Doing Some Things: Take a break from doing some of the things you feel compelled to do each week. It is Advent. Also, you may have added things to your agenda during the pandemic that layer on top of everything else you do. Stop doing some pre-pandemic or pandemic things for the next four weeks and then see if they are missed.
Family: It is obvious that all of us need to spend more time with family. Long-term this has the greatest reward and benefit. They may have excused you for being so busy the past nine months, but for the next four weeks be busy spending time with and doing things with family.
Fun: Do something fun that you love to do. These may be things you do alone or with others. It may involve family and it may not. It is okay to carve out some time to be selfish about doing something that brings you great joy.
Do Only What Adds Value: The second hardest of these five is to evaluate everything you do and only do those things that add value to your life and the ministry to which God has called you.
“What about you, George?” – some of you are saying. “We know you are a workaholic. Are you taking your own advice?” Trying. First, this is the last you will hear from me about anything unless an emergency arises until the first of 2021. No more weekly communications. Second, I am spending time with my newest grandchild who was born two months ago and lives here in Columbia. Third, I am on a positive rampage to delegate many of the things I have carried the weight of for the past 3.5 years as your executive director. Fourth, I have a stack of books I am reading that allow me to explore new worlds.