In conversation with a parish pastor recently, I was reminded how lockdown has been incredibly stressful and busy for many in ministry. There seems to be a misnomer amongst some folk that because churches are closed then it’s one long holiday for ministers! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Filled with a heart to bless and love on the community, many pastors are actually exhausted from overseeing ministries of kindness and support. Phones still ringing with parishioners problems; food banks to oversee; people dying and funerals required; sermons need to be planned prepared, prayed over and then delivered online; the list goes on. And all from the central hub of home life and the collective busyness of a family.
For many female pastors and pastors wives, it is all of the above with the added responsibility of children being home schooled, meals to cook, elderly parents to care for, young ones needing to be entertained, household chores to do, etc. Time often feeling stretched and pressured.
Impending lifting of restrictions may mean a dull thud of anxiety for those who are already feeling weary and exhausted. It’s so hard to be caring for others when you yourself feel you have nothing to give.
As much as is possible in the weeks ahead, try to only engage with priorities. Delegate out to others to take on some responsibilities to lighten your load. Check in with yourself that you aren’t coming under a performance mentality or comparison trap to other ministries. Share with those close to you how you feel, and don’t suffer under unnecessary guilt or stress. Actively seek out support for yourself if you need it, and step away from the busyness. You will thank yourself that you did!
Feel free to get in touch with us here at ESPS.M, we would love to hear from you. A problem shared is a problem halved. We are only human after all, and pushing ourselves too hard can have serious consequences on our physical and mental health over the long term. God cares for you and your wellbeing abundantly more than you even care for those around you.
Take time to selfcare from today, and ensure you aren’t running on empty when public worship services resume. God bless you with grace to be kind to yourself and look after your needs well.