Dr. Glenn Miller, host of the Leadership and the Church podcast, and CEO of Miller Management is joined by his colleague, Dr. Michael Haynes, retired Director of Missions at Greene County Baptist Association.
The month of December we have talked about how to Restore, Create, or Maintain the Joy of Christmas in what is inevitably the busiest month of the year for Pastors.
The Busiest Time of Year
Our host wonders, “This is probably the busiest month for ministries, has that been your experience?” And our guest says that yes, between Christmas programs, banquets, Sunday School parties, music programs – there is no question that this month is the busiest for churches. And therefore the Pastor.
Once he moved from a Pastor to a Association Director, he found out that since churches are so busy, the association seems to take some time off because of that. Now that was a welcome surprise!
Follow Up with Guests
Next, our host asked if there are opportunities that coincide with the people that don’t show up each week? But mostly focus on Christmas and Easter. During this time of Christmas and the new year, former church members sometimes are thinking about attending church again, our guest comments. He views this time as a chance to reconnect with them. And, Dr. Haynes encourages us, to follow up with those people in January.
Business brings a certain level of stress, so how do we keep the joy, our host wants to know? Our guest declares that one of his mantras has been, “the most important thing for the church’s health is the Pastor’s health.” If the Pastor isn’t healthy, is not in a good place with the Lord or his family, the church has no hope of being joyful.
“Who we are impacts what we do, more than any other thing.” – Dr. Michael Haynes
It comes down to planning, our guest suggests. Prioritizing is critical. Thinking about your own needs, and your family’s needs; should help decide what you do (and don’t do) in December. If you don’t take the time to prioritize, Dr. Haynes reminds us, there are others out there willing to do it for you!
What should lay leaders be aware of for their Pastor and Staff? Dr. Haynes says that the Pastor’s health should be top priority. His spiritual, physical, and emotional health. As a congregation, give the Pastor space and freedom to make his health important; and the whole church will be blessed because of that.
What about senior ministry leaders and their families, how can they keep the joy? Again, our guest says, plan and prioritize. Create family traditions, and make room for those. Talk about them earlier in the year so you can make plans to keep everyone’s self care in top shape to make sure that the leaders – and their families – are in a good place to enjoy and better handle the busy season.
Instead of thinking, “that’s not going to happen again this year” but not doing the planning, your efforts won’t be fruitful. Plan early. Plan time for rest and recuperation. Again, Pastor’s health sets the tone, so let’s keep the Pastor healthy, so the church can experience the Joy of Christmas.
Join us next week as we conclude our discussion on the Joy of Christmas.
Special thanks to our guest Dr. Michael Haynes and our masters of all things podcasting, Chris & Lauren Miller, for this third episode in our Joy of Christmas series.