Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late: Use These 4 Principles To Set Healthy Boundaries In Ministry
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Why You Need To Have Good Boundaries In Ministry
If you’re in the people business, you’ve probably chosen this because you love people. But if you’ve been in ministry long enough, then you’ve likely encountered people who can drain a lot of your energy.
As Rachel Wolchin says, “Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.”
So, this is why it’s important to know how to create healthy boundaries in ministry.
It’s for the good of your closest relationships, whether that’s family or friends, and it’s for your own wellbeing too.
One pastor I know protected his family time at dinner by answering the phone and politely telling whoever called that it was supper time and he would call them back later.
In my own life, I’m finding that these four principles are helping me to set healthy boundaries in ministry.
#1 – Filter Everything Through Your One Thing
First, know your one thing.
This is crucial because once you know your one thing, you can funnel everything through it.
For instance, our one thing at 4 Better 4 Ever is transformation and everything funnels through that lens. So when opportunities come up, we ask ourselves:
Is this going to help our women discover the transformation they’re looking for?
#2 – Put Your Family In Your Calendar (And Keep Them There)
Second, put your spouse and family in your calendar.
And when I say put them in your calendar, I mean pencil them in BEFORE any ministry commitments (I’m preaching to myself for this one!).
Once you do that, KEEP them there.
As hard as it may be, don’t move them.
That way, you’ll be sure to prioritize the most important people in your life and you won’t end up feeling that nagging guilt that you’re neglecting them.
You need to look after the people who are most important to you first. Not last.
#3 – Develop Regular Rhythms Of Self-Care
Third, develop a simple rhythm of self-care. Now, I know this may sound a bit cliche or simplistic but it’s really important (which is why I mention it so often!).
When we’re in ministry, we absolutely need to take care of ourselves.
Because the math is very simple on this one — if we have nothing left at the end of the day, then there’s nothing left!
So, if we run ourselves to the very limits of our energy, money or time, then we won’t have anything to give.
That’s why creating a regular rhythm of self-care is important, whether it’s worship, fun, exercise or whatever is life-giving for you.
#4 – Work In Your Strengths As Much As You Can
Four, work in your strengths.
If your strength is administration, then that’s where you need to be working. Or, if you’re an amazing writer, then that’s the best use of your energy.
Your goal should be to stay in your strength zone as much as you can because when you work out of your strengths, you feel energized instead of drained.
Of course, it may not be possible for us to stay in our strengths ALL of the time, but I want to encourage you to aim to work out of your strengths as much as possible.
And for the things that need to get done that aren’t your strength, put a team in place
What’s Your Next Step?
If this post resonated with you and you’d like to dive even deeper in setting healthier boundaries in ministry, then I encourage you to download the free 7-Day Clarity Journal.
I ask myself these questions to help me understand my thoughts and feelings better.
And once I understand myself better, then I can set healthier boundaries.
Need help setting healthy boundaries in ministry?
Get the simple process for FREE that I use to help me set healthy boundaries in the work I do with women and couples!
What has worked for you to set healthy boundaries in ministry? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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