Over time, things can become very routine. We wake up at the same time everyday, brush our teeth (and if you’re like me, you only buy one brand of toothpaste), drink coffee from the same cup, take the same route to work everyday…you get my drift. We don’t even have to think about it – we just do it, sometimes so well, we could do it with our eyes closed.
If you’re in any type of ministry, you very well know that certain aspects of your job can become routine after a while, too. You know…doing the same things over and over because Sunday (or Wednesday or Friday) is always coming and there are things that need to be done so that ministry can happen.
Some of my responsibilities occur like clockwork. Here is what is typically found on my to-do list every week:
Sunday: Game time! All of my weekly prep pays off today!
Monday: Edit curriculum for upcoming lessons; catch up on email from the weekend; follow-up with notes from Sunday; work on bigger-picture projects; writing
Tuesday: Email lessons to leaders; handle email; staff prayer; Children’s Ministry staff meeting; return phone calls
Wednesday: Director-Level staff meeting; staff prayer; paperwork
Thursday: Final prep for Sunday; meetings with our family meeting team; staff prayer
Give or take other duties, depending on the time of year, these are almost always on my to-do list. Do I love my job? You bet! Can my job tasks become routine? You bet!
“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Colossians 3:17, The Message)
So how can we find joy in the mundaneness of ministry?
1. Recognize that joy is a choice. Most of us don’t wake up joyful, especially if our day’s to-do list is long. So you need to choose joy. Choose to see each day (and its tasks) as a gift from God. Choose to live joyfully in the calling God has placed on your life.
2. Realize that ministry means hard work. Ministry doesn’t just happen. It takes a process of steps to get from point A to point B. That oftentimes means long hours preparing for ministry to happen and doing tasks that we might not like to do.
3. Shift your lens. Think about all of the children and families who walk through the doors of your church each week. Think about the opportunities you have to help them know, love and follow Jesus.
The work order you put in to have your facility cleaned helps families feel their child is in good, safe and sanitary hands.
The copies you make (or have made) will bring the day’s lesson into focus for many children.
The lessons you edit help ensure that the important things are taught.
The craft supplies you shop for and gather will help children will allow them a tangible reminder of God’s love for them.
The ideas you pin on Pinterest help you present God’s Word as creatively as you can so that each child learns in the ways that suit them best.
The time you spend designing a cool graphic for your communications will help draw families to information.
The emails and phone calls you made helps prepare your volunteers and lets them know you are there for them.
The meetings you attend remind you that as a team, you are all working together for the Kingdom of God.
The crumbs you sweep off of the floor reminded you that children love snack time!
The time you spend in prayer helps you remember the reason why you serve. It’s about Him, not you.
Join the conversation: What helps you find joy in the mundaneness of ministry?