Today we welcome Jaime Hlavin back to the blog! In today’s post, Jaime helps leaders navigate perhaps the busiest time of their work year . . . Advent. You’ll find practical tips to help you keep yourself steady in the middle of “the most wonderful time of the year.” Enjoy ~ John
The Church is in the midst of Advent.
This is the time of year when Believers reflect on the hopeful anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ. The focus is hope, peace, love, and joy. Unfortunately, church leaders often subconsciously move through Advent in anticipation of the end of the Season because Advent can be exhausting.
If you’re a church or ministry leader, you don’t need me to tell you Christmas Season can be daunting. When we pastored, our church dedicated the entire month of December to blessing those within our congregation and reaching out to our community. Something “big” happening every weekend. The amount of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy that went into the Holiday Season had the potential to wipe our staff out.
I’m sure you can relate. There are more things on the calendar that you feel like you “just can’t say no to” than usual during Advent.
Over the next couple blogs, our goal at Converge is to help you as a church or ministry leader create a healthy Holiday rhythm that will keep you in touch with the reason we focus so much time and energy into this time of year. To focus on the hope, peace, love, and joy of this Advent of celebration of Christ’s birth, it’s crucial to establish specific boundaries.
This week we’ll cover some calendar-related ideas for church leaders to maintain an emotionally healthy Holiday Season.
Simplify your church calendar
I realize it may be too late for this year, but keep this in mind for the future. Your church doesn’t have to do ALL. THE. CHRISTMAS. THINGS. Choose what is important to the vision and mission of your body of believers and do it with excellence. Is it a children’s program? A choir? A candlelight service? A living nativity? A community outreach? Sometimes, church leaders think they need to do everything everyone else is doing. Please do not buy into this mindset. It will burn out you, your leaders, and your congregation.
Allow everyone in your congregation/organization the opportunity to serve
Your staff and leaders will have a lot going on in their personal lives this time of year as well. So, please create moments for everyone to serve. It doesn’t all have to fall on you and your staff. As a general statement, people are looking for ways to serve and give back during this season.
Christmas is on a Sunday this year
I’m sure you know this by now. While your congregation may love the collision of the holiness of two sacred days, this can add levels of pressure to the staff and their families. Please do what is best for your church and your family. Leverage your relationship with your ministry to explain your decisions. Also, if you do have service on Sunday, keep in mind, your regular attenders may be sparse. Or attendance may be so high that the day is more draining than you expected. You know your church best.
Your personal Holiday calendar doesn’t need to take a backseat to your church calendar
You have family gatherings, school performances, traditions, and travel that need to take place. Please place an emphasis on fun, life-giving events for you and your family. Also, please be okay with saying “no” when you need to—without feeling the pressure to explain the reasoning.
It’s possible as a church or ministry leader to not dread the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s our hope today’s post can help you make that possibility a reality.
We’re rooting and praying for you!