I went to bed with a heavy heart and woke up feeling as if I'd been hit by a truck. Something had to be done to change my mood entering into this new day. I could not expect to be productive if I were still experiencing this hung-over feeling.
The funny thing about ministry is that everything about it is so deeply personal. We are on call 24-7, we often move and relocate our entire families for the sake of our staff position, every spare moment at home is spent talking about ministry (our poor families), our co-workers, friends, and "family" are now the church. It's because ministry is this personal that we are hurt so easily.
I've heard it said that to deal with a hangover, one needs to drink a lot of water. So, to deal with my ministry hangover, I needed WATER!
W-Work on developing diplomacy skills. Diplomacy is an art. Diplomacy doesn't always come naturally to me. Many times these hangovers are brought about by disagreements of one form or another in ministry. I need to learn to put my own ego and agenda aside. If I'm called to "equip the saints" then I've got to remember that I work on their behalf, not my own.
A-Attitude-check. Many times when I'm faced with conflict of any sort, I'm tempted to prove how right I am. I must remember that Jesus wants me to be a servant first and foremost. Sometimes that requires a huge dose of humble pie. I have to remember that I am a servant first. My pride must take a back seat. It's not about me.
T-Talk to Jesus. Seems like a given but much of the time I am tempted to talk to others before Jesus. I want to know that I'm really ok or that I couldn't possibly really be in the wrong so I will talk to everyone else that I know will build me up rather than Jesus. I need to go to Him first.
E-Enquire "what can I learn from this situation?" I've found that there is almost always some nugget that I can take away that will make me a better person/pastor. In order to improve, I've got to develop myself by learning from each hangover and, possibly learning a new communication skill.
R-Respond by getting up and moving. The enemy would love nothing more than to take us down and one sure way to do that is to hurt our pride. The quickest way for me to recover from a ministry hangover is to get up and keep doing ministry, only better.
Move forward. Grab a glass of water and check your pride.
Have you ever had a ministry hangover? What do you do to recover?