Have you ever tried running a full marathon? A 10K? A 5K? If so, I bet I can tell how you accomplished that.
You woke up the morning of the event, put on whatever pants you could find in your drawer, put on your shoes you wore mowing the day before, and then headed to the start of the race without a bite to eat because you just didn’t have time for that (forgetting that you didn’t even have super the night before).
Once there, you slapped on a number, got in line, and when the signal went off, you started sprinting as fast as you could. You ignored the water offered (only the weak ones need that), and started harder for the incline ahead.
I think you can see, no one would ever approach even a 5K in this manner. That would be foolish and result in very poor running performance. You might not even finish it – even a 5K.
That doesn't stop us from trying this very approach to living our ministry lives.
Somehow we think if we just squeeze enough energy and life out of us and keep giving and giving, “the Lord will provide.” Right? We head harder for the hill, often ignoring “water,” because there’s just no time to stop for that or we’ll get some later.”
Here's the best advice I can offer:
Build your own team to take care of your own needs.
Now, right away, some might argue “That’s not Biblical, Kristen. God takes care of you. You don’t need to focus on your needs. He’ll do that for you.” This kind of mindset takes Scripture and twists it. I’ve seen the damage it does and it’s not the way Truth should be applied to our lives.
God does take care of us, but He has chosen to do so through His god-given design of the human body, though His Word, through being wise and using God-given boundaries and respite, and through other people – community.
I’m not talking about the “fellowship” of people coming over to my house and sharing a meal. (Though, that’s sometimes healthy.)
I’m talking about something much more intentional.
I'm talking about preparing to run the race in the same way as someone who prepares to run an ultra marathon.
Do you know about the Self-Transcendence 3,100 race? This annual race is a gruelling event where runners willingingly train for and then execute a 3,100 mile run. (The very thought!)
A crazier thought would be a person attempting to run this marathon without building a team to help them accomplish that!
When you enter the ministry life alongside your husband, you are signing up for the longest marathon of your life.
You can’t do that on your own or even solely with just God. (Not that He COULDN’T do that, but I’m saying He doesn’t CHOOSE to work in this way.)
When one begins the process of training for a physical marathon they create a team:
In the same way, a person in ministry needs a team of other people around them to succeed.
All these people need to be “in it” for the person’s success. (Success means a lot of things, but one of them is avoiding burn-out before you’ve accomplished the work the Lord sent you to do.)
We’ll talk about who should be on that team you build in another post, but today, I want you to consider: