August + exhausted= Augausted
Yes, that is the correct spelling.
May was coined several years ago as Mayhem, and we all understand why, especially when you have kids in school. There are 10 end of year ______ parties (fill in the blank with sports team, school club, social club, community activity, home school group, church bible study group) as well as teacher and coach gifts.
Remember, add to all this, the fact that you have to make peanut free, gluten free and sugar free (using no artificial sweeteners) treats for each of the these said parties. Did I mention the sports and academic awards banquets and oh, my kid needs to wear black dress pants for the end of the year band concert tomorrow night?!
As a church, we avoid scheduling anything for May.
So, the world gets to take credit for Mayhem, but I’d like to introduce to the church community; Augausted!
The Definition of Augausted
If you are in any type of leadership position, whether you’re head honcho, team member or volunteer of any ministry at church, you know that August is kick-off and training season.
The rational is that everyone is back from their summer fun and ready to get back to a schedule and start churching.
The problem is, it’s hard to plan for these events in the summer because everyone is out summering.
By the way, I do realize I am making up words, but, if you’ll accept Augausted, I figured you’ll give me grace for churching and summering.
This blog is from our partner Discipleship for Women. Download for free their 42 Scripture Memory Cards here.
Here we are closing out August and before we’ve had a chance to catch a week long nap, and after VBS, we’re running full steam ahead…we’ve launched into a potluck and prayer to send the kids to school, a training for our children’s volunteers (to remind them how awesome they are and slip in a few new policies), another training for the student ministry leaders, a small group leader training and a men’s and women’s kick-off night for fall studies.
Lest we forget, there’s the student kick-off night that you’ll need to bring those uber healthy treats for, the same ones you created for the end of the year part. Hope you froze some extras.
If any of this sounds incredibly familiar, you and your key volunteers may be suffering from Augaustion. A great gauge to test how much you might be suffering from this time of year is this: if the announcement page of your bulletin is longer than the Psalms and reads a bit like the book of Numbers you’ve come down with Augaustion.
Still wondering if you’re experiencing this or not? You’ll also know by the 39 posters in the halls and 724 emails you’ve sent out reminding everyone of all the amazing things they should attend.
Before you run screaming from your church building or pass out where you’re standing. I’m here to help–better yet, Jesus is here to help.
Ministry Survival Tips for the Augausted:
- Do Something Different. Plan for next year and sleep a lot next July. Planning ahead is a great way to take lots off your plate next time. Take notes and figure out where you might make better choices for events next year. Include personal care to prepare for this crazy, busy time. Naps are a must.
- Design a Win Win. No one can be everywhere and do everything well. Prioritize what you actually must attend and bale out of the events that you don’t need to be at. Where you are, be all there. Win. Win.
- Do Attend Events that Fill You Up. If you never get to be in worship because of work/volunteer duties, get coverage so you can worship. You can only pour out what God pours in first.
- Delegate Well. We all need help, even you. You are one person and you must make hard choices about your time and your energy. Don’t try to do it all alone. Give yourself and the volunteers on your team, grace and practice mercy when they don’t do things exactly the way you would.
- Do Practice Gratefulness. A thankful heart can only come from a grateful heart. Serving our creator, especially if you are paid staff, is an honor. Remind yourself that God is good and that He will give you the strength and energy you need. Above all else He is your audience.
Augausted is real and while many of us are grateful to see September and fall rhythms, don’t allow August to steal your joy. Ministry work is the hardest job on the planet, but when we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us first, this job gets a whole lot easier–even when you’re Augausted. Let God guide you and fill you with his purpose and energy to accomplish all that he has for you today and every day.
Michelle Eagle is the Discipleship and Women’s Minister at her home church in Franklin, Tennessee.
Michelle organizes and trains discipleship leaders from every type of group. She also coaches disciple makers nationally with Renew.org. Also a regular contributor at Renew.org, she encourages Christian living and discipleship.
Michelle and her husband have two grown kids in college and are learning to enjoy the “empty nester” lifestyle.
Originally published on Discipleship for Women. Used by permission.
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