Are you a stressed preacher? Many seem to be. I know I can fall into that too. The weight of forthcoming ministry commitments always linger in the mind. Interruptions of ordinary and extraordinary circumstances add pressure as deadlines loom. There is a weight to bear as you seek to stand with those under your care. Ministry is hard work. The enemy makes it harder. And we become stressed. Add to this the culture in which we live, a fast-paced not-enough-hours-in-the-day culture. In her book, Time Peace: Living Here and Now with a Timeless God, Ellen Vaughn writes, “”If adrenaline flows in response to a chronic state of stress–rather than being on reserve for emergencies–it’s like revving a car engine to a hundred miles per hour, then leaving it to idle at that speed.” (Page 69)
Answers to this phenomena tend to sound trite. Rest more. Exercise some. Spend more time with God. Cast your cares on Him. Commit to less. Guard your schedule. Establish better boundaries. All of these are part of the answer, but none are the whole answer. How would you rate your stress in ministry? What could you do to live out the ordered “shalom” of our God of order, the One Who is not stressed? Stuart Briscoe once preached that when we live our lives according to the orders of the God of order, we will have peace (shalom). Do you preach Shalom? Ok, but do you live it too?