This blog series describe three essential areas, one at a time, to keep in balance for staying effective and healthy in ministry. Balance can be illustrated by picturing a three-legged milking stool, and this post is about the third leg. Also, you can read about the first leg – Emotional and the second leg – Spiritual.
The physical leg includes the way we treat our bodies as well as the way we treat our finances. How is your diet? Are you getting enough exercise? In what kind of shape are your finances If this leg is out of balance there can be disastrous consequences. It takes discipline and hard work to keep physically balanced.
Many ministry leaders have terrible eating habits. Often they grab something quick to eat and fast food is the easiest thing to grab and eat. Not only that, but church offices are notorious for having an array of fattening goodies available at all times. Ministry leaders must improve their eating habits. The only way to do this is to cut down or eliminate sugar, bad fats, and empty carbohydrates. Bring a healthy lunch and snacks from home instead of going to McDonald’s for a Big Mac and to keep a bowl full of raw almonds on their desk instead of munching on M & M’s. It’s much easier when the couple make the decision to encourage and support each other to improve their diets.
Because it takes time to exercise and time is a rare commodity for ministry leaders, frequently they don’t exercise as much as they should. They need to be encouraged to start some kind of daily workout. Exercising isn’t just necessary for keeping the body in shape. It’s also necessary for keeping our minds in shape. Someone out of shape physically can also be out of shape emotionally. Exercising clears the mind as well as strengthens the body and relieves stress. No one is so busy that he or she can’t take the time to exercise even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Try this: walk up the stairs instead of riding the elevator. The easiest way to exercise is to walk. Walking together as a couple not only will be good exercise but it will also improve their relationship.
Another part of the physical leg is how the couple manages their money. Most ministry leaders have very limited finances so it is especially challenging for them to manage them. As a result they can run up a credit card debt or face a financial crisis. Many have no idea how to set up a budget. It’s okay to seek help to better handle their finances from one of the many great books available. Avoid over-spending and getting too deeply into debt.
Here’s a list of recommended books: