7 Ways To Survive The Crazy Stress of Easter
Let’s face it, worship leaders, it’s our Super Bowl. Easter Sunday is THE "big game" for many of us.
But with so much preparation and so many moving parts, sometimes you can feel more like the tackling dummy than the starting quarterback.
So as we count down the last three and a half weeks before Easter, let me give you seven ways to get through this season with at least a smidgeon of your sanity remaining.
If you have multiple services (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday), or just a BIG service on Sunday, you probably have a ton of ‘to-dos’.
Your brain wasn’t made to remember all those details. Tracking them in your mind can cause a lot of stress and worry.
So take about 20 minutes and do a brain dump: list everything you can think of that you need to do in the next 3 weeks (even if it's not church related—because that’s adding to the stress).
And put things in different categories or “buckets” so you can break each big project down into the smaller bite-size pieces.
Once you get everything on paper, you still might be overwhelmed. But now your mind won’t be working so hard to keep this stuff straight. You'll have better focus to get it all done.
During more complex and important ministry events, we tend to think everyone gets the magnitude of the event and will step up their game. As in, “Hey, everyone knows Easter is our big Sunday; they’re going to prepare more, show up on time, prioritize...."
People outside of the bubble of church staff (and uber-volunteers) are thinking more about chocolate bunnies and their kids' spring break and finally getting outside to enjoy the weather.
So if you have extra or higher expectations for your volunteers during this season, make sure you over-communicate those to them.
And tell them why: “We are going to have a bunch of lost people walk through our doors in a few weeks…."
Don’t sacrifice them on the altar of the Easter service. Is Easter important? Sure, but not that important.
The last thing you want is your family resenting the church (or even God) at Christmas and Easter because you’re never around (or you’re too stressed out to be “present” when you are there).
Remember that list of to-dos you put together? Take time to pray over that. I read recently that when we fail to pray, we fail to treat God as God. He’s bigger than that list and wants to help you tackle it (or even pare it down, if you let him).
And take some moments to stop and breath deeply. Big belly breaths. Expand your diaphragm and fill your lungs. Then exhale it all. Sometimes a little intentional breathing does wonders for our stress levels.
Unless you've developed the habit to stay on a regular workout schedule, this is something that probably goes out the window during busy seasons.
In fact, for some people, it went out the window years ago and is somewhere buried in the backyard, along with their good eating habits.
(Btw, no judgment from me…I’m speaking from experience.)
But just like the intentional breathing, some exercise can help reduce stress levels and give you more energy.
NOTE: Now's not the time to start a new 90-minute-a-day, insanity-type program. You'll want to be able to physically hold a microphone without wincing.
It’s easy to think that it ALL rides on this one Sunday. Is there a chance nominal Christians will be convicted by the Holy Spirit to come back to the Lord during these services?
Is there a chance lost people will be saved?
Without a doubt.
But God is bigger than one Sunday. He’s working on those people in other ways. Your service just might be one small twitch of the needle moving in their hearts.
So put your service in perspective of eternity and God’s sovereignty. In other words, relax a little. He’s got this.
Whatever it is you enjoy doing—hitting golf balls at the driving range, hiking, painting, writing songs, shopping (God help you…), tinkering with old cars, restoring furniture, shooting hoops, playing Monopoly with your kids, whatever—do some of that.
You may not have as much time during this season as you do other times. But you need some restorative activity.
And speaking of restorative activity, you also need rest.
It’s easy to burn the candle at both ends during seasons like this. But your body doesn’t care that it’s Easter. It still needs 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
So don’t neglect that.
The bottom line is this: You have another 39 Sundays left this year after Easter. Don’t burn yourself out.
Besides, the time after Easter is really what I like to call GO TIME.
There are at least six months before the craziness of Christmas starts pressing on you, so it's prime time to work on developing your ministry.
These months of “regular” worship services will allow you the margin to work on growing YOU and growing your team. The demands of each Sunday are still there, but not as intense.
So after the craziness of Easter settles down, stop back here for some stuff to train your team and grow your leadership.
And comment below and let me know what some of your pre-Easter stressors are and how you’re planning on tackling them. (Or if you don’t know, maybe I can help you sort that out.)
I’d love to hear from you.