December is a busy time in the life of most churches. Whether it be decorating the church, Christmas musicals, class parties, Christmas Eve services, and even year-end financial budget goals – the holidays can be stressful. Add in the family obligations and you are on life support by the time Santa comes down the chimney.
Here are five tips to limiting stress in your life and keeping the church focused on the “reason for the season” – Jesus Christ.
1. Learn to say “no.” You cannot possibly be at every Christmas function in your church. Prioritize what is important and tell others that your schedule will not allow another commitment this holiday season.
2. Influence the scheduling of your church calendar so that it doesn’t become burdensome for your congregation. Examine what events are the most impactful and stick with those. Cut those that don’t meet your criteria. Your people will appreciate your leadership in simplifying their lives as well.
3. Use this season to really show love to your staff. After all, this is the season of giving. Take the time to go to lunch and share with them how much you appreciate them and their hard work all year long. A Christmas bonus gift is an extremely tangible way to show a staff person how much you love them as well.
4. Take some time off to spend with family. Be an example of this for your church that family is a priority. The church will be just fine and we all need to be reminded from time to time that we are replaceable.
5. Keep the proper perspective. When things get hectic this holiday season, slow down and turn in your Bibles to the Gospels and read the story of the birth of Jesus. This usually calms our spirit and helps us focus on the reason we’re celebrating.
Merry Christmas! May you limit your stress this holiday and experience the joy and love this season brings because a child in a manger was born in Bethlehem in a manger 2,000 years ago.