For many of us who serve in ministry, this time of year is usually a little bit more busy than the rest of the year. We have vision nights, conferences, volunteer celebrations, Christmas planning, and set builds on top of our normal weekend services and operations. With such a full calendar it could be easy to miss out on all that God is doing. One thing that helps protect me from burnout and exhaustion is focusing on one simple phrase...I get to do this.
I get to be a part of Saddleback Church.
I get to share hope with many who are struggling with mental illness.
I get to be a part of the story of God changing lives for eternal impact.
When we operate out of the overflow of a “get to” attitude there is joy, excitement, and purpose. When that is missing we can unknowingly sound like an idle car that is not well tuned—a rattle here; a squeak there; maybe a putter. These are all signs that something is misaligned. When we are not carefully watching our heart or when we lose sight of what God is doing in our midst, we can slowly become detuned. We start whining and grumbling and making some noise. Making misaligned noise can lead to bitterness, discouragement, and resentment. Ultimately, these are the things that secretly steal our personal joy and team joy. We miss out on the miracle that God is doing in and through the Church.
Check out this scripture that has encouraged me personally when I start to grumble.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (Phil 2:1-5 NIV)
So in this busy season let’s throw out the “have to” mentality. I have to go to that extra Christmas rehearsal. I have to put in a long week for the set build. I have to work on Christmas. This year, let’s champion all of the “get to” moments with tender hearts and gratitude. We get to prepare for Christmas so we can offer our very best to the Lord. We get to be a part of creating a beautiful space for our community to come hear the name of Jesus. We get to participate with others in bringing hope to literally thousands of families and people who may have never set foot into a church.