Balancing Relationships

Years ago when Chris and I were in Rhode Island, our church there ran an interesting campaign. Signs were up all around the church, “It’s February. But March is Coming.” It called attention to the dreary days of winter and anticipated the message of Easter.

About this time of the semester you may be feeling a bit tired.

Ministry is great. It is a privilege to be involved in sharing the Gospel; leading people to Christ, helping them grow in a relationship with the Lord, and imparting vision to leaders. But ministry can be tiring. We often forget the physical toll spiritual activity exacts on us.

Some people can be particularly draining, even if the weather isn’t depressing. If you are an introvert, like I am, you may feel it more acutely. That’s why it is important for us to have people in our lives that build into us while we are giving out.

I recall a conference speaker a few years ago talking about leading for the long haul. Among other things, he addressed balancing our relationships. He mentioned five types of people that Gordon MacDonald talks about in Restoring Your Spiritual Passion.

1. Very resourceful people. VRP. These ignite your passion.
2. Very important people. VIP. These share your passion.
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3. Very trainable people. VTP. These catch your passion.
4. Very nice people. VNP. These enjoy your passion.
5. Very draining people. VDP. These sap your passion.

Many have referred to these five types of people. If you google “very draining people”, most entries reference these.

Those above the line, VRPs and VIPs, put energy into our lives. Those below take energy out. Most of us in ministry spend most of our time with those below the line. That’s natural, but we need to have some in our lives who ignite and share our passion to fill our tanks as we minister.

Two thoughts come to mind.

  1. Even while you are at the height of busyness in the semester, why not consider who might be a possible VRP or VIP, imparting energy to you. They may be in your church. They may be friends or mentors. Taking steps now to fill your tank will help you give out over the long haul.
  2. Which type of person are you to your teammates? Is there a possibility that you drain some more than you impart to them? An honest assessment helps to know areas of personal growth.

Spring Coaching Tips

Selected Tips from Fall 2016

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