3 keys to keeping your sanity in ministry
By Deborah Wipf

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Ministry is messy — even in the back office. Everyone knows that youth ministry and recovery classes can be a bit dicey, but those of us who have worked in the back office know that administration is not always smooth sailing.

Administrators are often the ones chosen to deal with touchy issues like confronting a staff member about his work performance or calming a volunteer who doesn't understand why she can't work in a particular area of the ministry. As you serve faithfully, here are a few keys to help you handle the rough patches:

1. Don't try to do it all on your own.

Regardless of the situation, someone else has probably already dealt with it and may have offered wise counsel. Search online for blogs or articles to see if there's a good resource available. Find a mentor who's been in ministry longer than you in whom you can confide and ask for advice.

2. Remember that Jesus warned us about this and that He sent help.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." — John 16:33

Jesus will never leave or forsake us, and He sent the Holy Spirit to help. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Invest time daily in reading and studying the Bible. We know from Hebrews 4:12 that "the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." You need that time each day to refuel and to discern situations through the filter of God's word. Also, make sure you sit in a service (not working) and soak up that time in worship and hearing biblical preaching.

3. Don't forget that we're all a work-in-progress.

Your pastor and colleagues may disappoint you on occasion. You've probably done likewise. Thankfully, God is patiently refining us as we submit our lives to Him. Don't be surprised when there's tension with fellow staff members or volunteers. Keep pursuing Christ, offer grace and forgiveness to others, and quickly repent when you're in the wrong.

Ministry isn't easy, but in those challenging moments take time to reflect on the fruit you are seeing. Lives transformed, marriages restored and families serving those in need. Your work is important, and you are making an impact. Keep serving faithfully and trust God with the increase.

Deborah Wipf is the president and founder of Velocity Management Group, a company dedicated to helping church and ministry leaders with the business side of running an organization. She loves ministry, big vision, details, project plans and organization. Combining these passions into becoming a "business coach for churches and ministries" is how Deborah seeks to serve God and help people.

For more tips and resources, check out the VMG Blog. Connect with Deborah on Facebook or Twitter (@VelocityMgmtGrp).