· Global Health

Establish time for self-care

By Gil Hanke

Where do we start when we are “taking care of business?”

We are preparing for several huge events within our denomination.

Delegates to General Conference are studying books with all the resolutions and proposed legislation to be considered at the May session in Minneapolis.

We are busy providing churches with materials for Scout Sunday on February 9th.

We also are making plans for a March meeting of conference and jurisdictional leaders of men’s ministry and prayer ministry.

Meetings, trips, deadlines. Work, work, work….

But how do we prepare for all of this?

In Matthew 11, we hear the promise to those of us who are already “weary and heavy laden” that Christ will give us rest. But we must be open to that. If you are overwhelmed by your schedule for the next few months, join me in taking these steps.

  • Spend more time in prayer and in meditation for comfort and guidance.
  • Answer prayers from folks on the Upper Room Prayer Wall. Responding to prayers of people you will never meet will move your focus to others.
  • Participate in a small group that you do not lead.
  • Engage in local mission work that brings you joy.
  • Help out at a school or give some time to a cause that matters to you.
  • Call folks you haven’t talked to in a while, just to listen to how they are doing.
  • Engage in soul-filling activities; read a book for fun or see a movie with family or friends.

We tend to ignore these activities because “we don’t have time.”

As a person with a color-coded schedule on my computer, I realize that none of these activities will take place unless I plan for them.

So, along with the meetings and the phone calls and the other deadlines, put these “self-care” events on your calendar and hold to them. Don’t let a work schedule get in the way of serving in a way that is fulfilling.

Gil Hanke, chief executive officer

General Commission on UM Men



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