5 Steps When the Changes are Overwhelming

I’ll be honest. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately. In my new position, there are more opportunities than time. I’m excited about the potential, but my calendar won’t hold anymore and my mind is exploding.

One day recently, I was driving on the road which leads back to Clarksville. I considered my schedule, the enormity of the challenge ahead, the dozens of emails awaiting a response and the people I was still having to say “no” to when they ask for my time, many who don’t understand why the pastor can’t see them right away, and I turned to Cheryl and said, “Right now I wish I could just keep driving and that this had been a nice little dream”. That wasn’t reality speaking or how I really feel. It was emotions talking. I knew that I was simply feeling overwhelmed.

What do you do when you find yourself in that situation? Here’s what I am doing.

Here are 5 steps when change seems overwhelming:

Step back – Take a day. Take a week. Pause everything. Stepping back gives you an opportunity to take a fresh look at the challenges ahead. It may seem like you don’t have time to pause right now, but it may be you don’t have time not to do so. The time away will give you a better perspective, a clearer head and the rest will give you energy you need.

Get fit – I used to tell our staff in a church plant that “you have to strive to be healthy to work here right now”. I’m in that season in ministry again. As much as it depends on me, I need to be healthy spiritually, relationally, emotionally and physically. I need to eat healthy, exercise, and maintain a healthy relationship with Cheryl. I also need extended time in God’s Word and prayer. This is even more than usual a time for intentionality in living a healthy lifestyle.

Renew the vision – When change is overwhelming you need to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. The why is the key. It’s what fueled you in the first place and what has the best potential to fuel you again. I was called here for a purpose. God doesn’t make mistakes. If you are overwhelmed at something God called you to do, ask God to renew that passion you had in the beginning, before you were overwhelmed, again.

Chart a course one step at a time – Baby steps. That’s how big change is accomplished. One foot in front of the other. The bigger the change the more methodical you must be. One day, one week, one month at a time. I’ve had to ask some people to be patient. I have to prioritize each day. I have to not feel bad about saying no. I have to get up every morning, create a list of things I can accomplish that day, and realize that tomorrow is a new day.

Invite people on the journey – Delegation becomes even more important during overwhelming times in leadership. If you’re world is like mine, that pretty much equates to every season of ministry. :) Read THIS POST for more of my thoughts on delegation. I’m learning again the value of a team. I’m learning who I can trust, but I’m taking risks on people. I can’t do it without them.

I’m making slow progress, but the process is working. I am expecting great things in the days to come. Stay tuned.

Are you overwhelmed at the changes occurring in your life right now? Try these 5 steps.

What suggestions would you offer?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “5 Steps When the Changes are Overwhelming

  1. First, stop, and remember for a moment that it is not about you, or me, but about us. There are people who manage a 2 person company and feel overwhealmed. There are people who manage organizations of thousands and do not. So, my conclusion is that it is all about perception and the people who surround you and perform the tasks. I have been there and done that. No need to be too public at this time. That is why Immanuel has a staff and all those committees. They are there to do the work. You just have to trust them, and that should be fairly easy as they have been carrying the water for some time, and mostly in an exemplery fashion. It may be time to revisit that faith / trust post again. And, free yourself up. Remember, you are the Senior Pastor, and neither the CEO, CFO, Executive Secretary nor Head Chef. Oh yes, and everyone is trying to grab a piece of you then hold a 15 minute public Q and A once a week and let them ask away, like the interview sessions. Now go for a run and relax. Nothing wrong with the receptionist saying "he is out right now". We want you around for a while.

  2. Right on brother! Great words of wisdom and they have confirmed what I've been thinking lately. My first step at this time is to step back, pause and reflect. I'm wired to keep going, to keep pushing forward and sometimes this is good. But I must stop, think, reflect, and really take the time and listen to God. God is speaking but am I truly listening. Thanks Ron!