The church just celebrated Resurrection Sunday a couple days ago. In most churches it is one of the high points of the year. Typically it is the best attended service of the year. With the music and message, excellence is expected from the regular attendees and visitors are expected to be wowed. It is, without exception, the weekend that has the greatest expectations of the year. When celebrating the greatest event in human history, there should be great expectations.
But expectations should be realistic; it is so easy for those in ministry to allow unrealistic expectations placed upon themselves and by others to suck them into a black hole of defeat. It’s not that they forget they are Christians; they forget they are human, with human limitations. There is only one Savior, and regardless of how gifted or talented we are or how people view us, we are not their Savior.
If you are a Pastor reading this, give yourself a break this week and take time to replenish yourself physically and spiritually. You must do this on a regular basis if you are to have longevity in ministry. I’ve heard all the excuses including, “I don’t have time for a break.” My answer to that is, “We make time for what is important.” If we don’t make time for this, our body will make us take time, by shutting us down in order to preserve itself.
As Psalm 23:2-3a says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” If we don’t lie down, rest and replenish, God will make us lie down to restore our soul. I would imagine someone reading this is on the verge of having God make you lie down. It is far better for us to make the time, rather than have God make us take the time.
If you are reading this and are a church member, the greatest gift a church can give itself is to make sure its pastor is healthy spiritually, emotionally and physically. Take the lead in being a voice for your pastor’s well-being. Most pastors will not speak up for themselves, out of fear of being misunderstood. Be an advocate for him.
We all have expectations for ourselves as well as the expectations of others. Make sure the expectations are realistic.