4 Ways To Find Renewal In Ministry Through The Holidays

Tom Pounder
November 20th, 2019

The holidays are here and honestly, in my humble opinion, it is the most wonderful time of year! All the music, the movies, the decorations and family gatherings make it so exciting. 

While the holidays may be exciting, the reality is that it can also be very exhausting. Family gatherings can take a lot out of you. Setting up for Christmas, buying presents, going to a variety of holiday gatherings and taking care of your family can be draining. In addition, wrapping things up in your ministry can be stressful because, while you may have a lot on your plate with students, the Church has a lot going on as well that can make a busy time even more busy. That is why, while headed into the holiday season may be exciting, many student ministers can often come out of that season exhausted.

So how do you stay fresh during the holidays and find renewal during a very busy time of year? Here are 4 ideas you can do:

Make sure you honor your day off.

I know the Lord commands us to take a Sabbath and our Church says that too, but if we are honest with ourselves, during buys times, our Sabbath day of rest is often neglected and overlooked. We feel like we can’t take a day off because of all that needs to get done. The reality is the more you sacrifice your day off because you “can’t afford” to, the easier it will be to sacrifice it at other times throughout the year. There is ALWAYS work to be done, but a lot of it can wait a day so you can stay fresh and refreshed throughout the holiday season.

Personally embrace the holidays.

The holiday season can often be about others. That is why you need to find something you can do to personally enjoy the holidays. For instance, maybe go out and watch some holiday movies or take your family to a Christmas light show or maybe it is playing Christmas music 24/7. Don’t allow the stress of the holidays take away the joy of the holidays, embrace it and let the joy of the holiday season cause you to have personal joy. 

Make time for learning.

Regardless of the season we are in, we can always be learning something new. I know it is a busy time, but keep learning. Maybe you don’t have time to sit down a read a book, but you could have time to listen to a podcast on leadership or maybe there is a video out there that you can watch that will help you. The more you keep a mindset of learning in all seasons of life, the better off you will be long-term no matter what season it is.

Make time for Jesus.

The holidays fool us because we get caught up with the dinners, treats, decorations and joy all around us. When we focus on these other things and not the reason behind the joy and the dinners, we can get caught up thinking this season or these holidays are all about those things. That is why we have to constantly be making time with Christ personally. Find a fresh new Bible study that focuses on an aspect of Christmas or joy that you haven’t read before. The YouVersion Bible App has so many Christmas Bible studies you can read. Also, use this time to keep praying for your students, leaders and families that they would experience the joy and love of Christ this Christmas. 

The reality is that these 4 action steps above may seem like “no-brainers” but it is all too common to forget them over the holidays. And what happens when we forget to take a day off, embrace the holidays, quit learning or taking time with Jesus for a time? When we forget to do these things, it can leave us drained and exhausted by the time January 1 rolls around. This year choose to keep fresh so that when the new year rolls around you are ready to roll into a whole new year with renewed passion and vigor that leads to a whole new year of ministry and personal success and achievement.  

Tom Pounder

Tom has a background in Student Ministry working over 20 years with teenagers and currently serves as the Student Minister and Online Campus Pastor at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs regularly at YMsidekick.com about student, social and digital ministry strategies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.