Pressure can be defined as the burden of physical or mental distress. Why are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Melo Anthony great players in the NBA? Simple, they know how to produce under pressure. They are always ready to take the last shot of the game, make a crucial free throw, or make a great defensive play.
Pressure, we all feel it at times. Pressure comes from having too much to do, poor planning, demands from other people, guilt over things undone. There is an image pressure of trying to be what others see, rather than being who God created you to be. Pressure will make you miserable. It will escalate your pace of life and you will either be under pressure, be the cause of pressure, or a conduit of pressure…sometimes all three at once.
The Apostle Paul understood ministry pressure. Ministry pressure, what is that? Hang on, you will discover as you grow and mature in your Christian walk and ministry service. In 2 Corinthians 11:16-28, the Apostle records many of his sufferings as a servant of Christ. I like the way the NIV reads in verse 28, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” Yes, pressure is real and I would like to offer some personal guidelines for handling pressure. Hopefully, something I say will help you avoid the pressure every once in a while.
- Know who you are – People will attempt to make you a copy of someone else. Be yourself!
- Plan well – Keep a calendar, don’t over-extend.
- Keep your word – No reason in this electronic world to miss an appointment or forget to do what you promised.
- Know who you are attempting to please – God or people.
- Finish what you start – Pressure is life full of unfinished tasks.
- Loosen up – Have some fun, read a good book, spend time with family and friends, walk the dog, have a hobby, and understand that all this is OK.
Bill Terry is the National Director for Men’s Ministries and the Assistant Director for Discipleship Ministries. Bill resides in Oklahoma City with his lovely wife Rita, where they will celebrate 44 years of marriage in 2015. He is the proud head of an extended family that includes two sons Gregory and Rodney, daughters-in-law Holly and Brec, granddaughters Grace, Annie, Emily and Elena and grandson Adam Gregory.