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How To Know When You Are Overly Invested In Your Ministry

Most every minister I know is deeply invested in their ministry. What is the meaning of deeply invested in? A typical definition is “to have given a lot of time and effort to something and care about it very much.” But at times, every minster can become overly invested in their ministry. While it is vital to care deeply about your calling, problems can arise when you let your ministry control your feelings and behaviors. If you become too emotionally invested in your ministry, it can pull you down more than it lifts you up. It is easy to care so much about your ministry that it becomes the focus and determiner of your happiness, identity and self-image. Before this happens to you, look for these signs that may signal it’s time to pull back, reflect, and strive for a healthier perspective.

10 Signs That You Are Too Emotionally Invested In Your Ministry

Invariably, negative traits begin to surface when you are too tied up in the success of your ministry. When investment in your ministry goes overboard it can look like this.

  1. You Experience Mood Swings. A sign that you are overly invested is when things are going great you feel like you are on top of the world, but when things go wrong you experience the pit of despair.
  2. You Become Defensive. Whether you internalize it or say it out loud, if you consistently respond defensively to even the slightest of criticism or well-intended feedback, you are probably overly invested.
  3. You Are Consumed With Your Ministry. When your mind is on your ministry after office hours, on weekends and even when on vacation there is the likelihood you are too invested in your ministry.
  4. You Take Work Home With You. If you can’t completely disconnect from work when you are at home, such as, regularly taking your laptop home with you, checking email during dinner, and finishing up work after others have gone to bed you most likely are too invested in your ministry.
  5. You Overreact. Common signs of over investment are when you find yourself easily angered, regularly snap at people when they disagree or make a mistake, are more prone to feelings of panic, or emotionally overreact to stressful situations.
  6. It’s How You Describe Yourself. Another sign of over investment is when you immediately jump to describing your ministry title and job responsibilities when asked to describe yourself or asked how you spend your time.
  7. It’s All You Can Talk About. Over investment can express itself by constantly talking about your ministry, regardless of the audience or the context of the conversation.
  8. Your Work Relationships Deteriorate. If your work relationships start being characterized by conflict, if colleagues begin sarcastically referencing your work habits, call you a workaholic and start distancing themselves from you then it is time to consider that you might be overly invested.
  9. You Become Controlling. When you become overly invested in your ministry you may stop delegating work and start micromanaging the work of those in your charge.
  10. You Become Autocratic. A command and demand leadership style is often a characteristic of those too emotionally invested in the success of their ministry.

If this sounds familiar, you will want to read our next blog that offers suggestions on what you can do if you find yourself overly invested in your ministry.

Posted on December 13, 2022

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5