When I accepted my first "full-time" ministry position I was very excited and very nervous. I lacked many skills and abilities that come only from experience, but the one thing I had was energy... and a great deal of it.
I was a young full time college student working part-time and now serving as a youth pastor in a small church where "youth pastor" really equated to anything needing to be done. It was during this time period I began to develop poor habits that would eventually lead to my ministry of "self" and not Jesus. Instead of prioritizing my responsibilities, I found that working and studying twenty hours a day would allow me to accomplish all that I felt I needed to do. My priorities were simple; school, job, ministry, friends, church and bringing up the rear was a personal investment in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
More than seventeen years later I still have a list of responsibilities, in fact it’s larger, and I am tempted to go back to those twenty hour days and have. However, I am a little smarter and realize that my first priority must always be the personal investment in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
When I am tired and spent and try to continue to minister, I do so out of the resources and strength of me. I don't have the patience, discernment, grace, love... okay, I lack most of the attributes of Christ. It is only when I take time to retreat, refresh and renew regularly that I am most effective in my ministry and honoring to God.
Take time to "fill er' up" and watch the amazing things God will do through you, not because of you.