Your Pre-Lenten Wellness Retreat!

Reading time: two minutes. Ash Wednesday is just two weeks away.  This is a good time to “get your own oxygen mask on before you take care of others.” We’re heading into one of the busiest seasons of the church year, a time of extra hours, extra responsibilities and extra anxiety.  It’s a season we love, because of the extra opportunities to share the message of the Savior’s perfect love, His sacrificial death and resurrection. Which is a good reason for us to be at our best.  This week and next I’ll focus on some of the preventive wellness practices that can help you to survive and thrive in this upcoming holy season!1. Plan Ahead.  This is one of those times of year when advance planning for all of the extra worship services really pays off.  I expect that by now your Wednesday series is all set.  The place I usually slipped up on my advance planning was the sermons for Holy Week.  Give some thought to writing your Easter sermon first of all.  See if you can have the Easter sermon 60-75% done before Lent even begins.  Then relax a little! 2. Care for the Musicians.  A seminary professor reminded us, “The organist can make you look really good or make you look really bad.  Take care of the organist.”  Set some time for an extra meeting with your worship leaders.  Thank them.  Bless them.  These are some of your most important relationships in coming weeks.  Get them on solid footing. 3. Care for the office staff.  See #2 above.  These people carry an extra load also.  Bless them up good with some advance love, care and appreciation. 4. Pray.  I’ll have more on this next week, but begin your own, personal journey to the cross as early as you can.  When we work, we work.  When we pray, God works! 5. Sleep.  Get well rested, even though these are also busy days.  Make a commitment to get all the rest you need when you can and enter the busy season rested up.  Tell the folks to whom you are accountable, “We need a pastor who’s at his best for the next few weeks.  I’m taking a nap.” 6. Take Care of Your Family.  Spend some extra time now, and make a special point to talk about why your church responsibilities will be shifting for a few weeks.  Consider a covenant with your family that you will keep track of your hours during Lent and find ways to equalize your church time with your family time as soon as you can in the weeks after Easter.  You are in my prayers, that you would enter this busy season at your best and serve joyfully right through Easter.  Even addressing just a couple of these advance preparation wellness ideas (or a couple of your own!) can make a difference down the road.  Thanks for reading. Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee?  Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!