Put Yourself First, Others Second


As children’s ministry leaders we are great at taking care of the families in our ministries.

We’re good at putting others first.

However, I find at times we neglect to take care of ourselves.

I am guilty of this more times than I would like to admit, but I know it’s an important subject that needs to be addressed.

We can easily get caught up the staffing, meetings, and lesson planning of children’s ministry and neglect to allocate time for ourselves.

Here’s what happens when we neglect time for ourselves, we:

  • Get irritable
  • Become judgmental
  • Experience burnout
  • Make bad leadership decisions
  • Miss out on God’s best for ourselves and those we lead

It’s easy to focus so much on the needs of others that you don’t take time to nurture your own needs.

Instead, put yourself before others.

I know, that sounds unbiblical. But it’s not. Because when you focus on your relationship with God and your own personal needs, then you serve others from a much healthier place.

The greatest example of this is to look no further than Jesus.

Jesus packed more ministry into 3 years of ministry than I can comprehend.

His entire focus on what God the Father placed Him on Earth to complete. My favorite scripture that shows how Jesus allowed time for himself is Mark 1:35 GNT it says,

“In the morning, long before sunrise, Jesus went to a place where he could be alone to pray.”

Jesus knew the importance of allocating time to himself before ministering to others.

I imagine this was a time of refreshing and alignment for Jesus.

Take a moment and think about the 12 disciples that Jesus had. I know that I would need some time alone and prayer with God to be able to properly deal with the attitudes of the disciples.

When we get alone to read, pray, worship, and refresh ourselves – it helps us avoid burn out.

We also become responsive and open to changes that God wants us to make.

Today I encourage you to step away and spend time alone with God.

You might be saying, “Lance, I have TOO much to do to step away right now”. My response is spending time with God is TOO important to what you have to do to not step away and get alone with God.

The moment you step away and focus on yourself and what God has for you, all those tasks will line up perfectly.

Putting ourselves first also means making sure we have enough space in our lives for:

  • Family. Is your weekend schedule so busy that you don’t have the time to enjoy it with your family? If so, something needs to change.
  • Exercise, which helps increase our energy level and productivity.
  • Doing things in life (outside of ministry, family, etc) that we enjoy. What do you enjoy? Reading, painting, spending time with friend, etc? The more you the things you love, the better leader you become.

This leads me to my question for today, “What are you doing to take care of yourself”?

What are you doing to keep yourself level, focused, and passionate about your children’s ministry?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Put Yourself First, Others Second

  1. Cindy says:

    I need prayer for strength to continue doing God’s will. It tends to get overwhelming because I do other ministries. I know my children don’t see me at home at times. There is nobody at our church who can do what I do. Im a Principal in our church and parents are a big issue. I have worked and served for my church for 17 years. 6 years of being the Principal.

    • Lance McKinnon says:


      I’ll be praying for you. Thank you for your faithfulness in the areas you are serving. I’ve worn multiple hats at one time and it can be exhausting at times. I’ll pray for energy and God to bring people alongside you that will help to lighten the load!

  2. Anita Marshall says:

    You are so on target. Jesus is indeed our role model. Jesus exercised by walking everywhere he went. Those meals a Lazarus and his sisters’ home were welcomed fellowship times with friends. He made those escapes from the crowd to have a Sabbath experience, special times to renew and refresh with God the Father. Jesus prepared/trained and invited the prepared/trained to share in his workload. Took time to share faith with associates in private one on one intimate get down to the basics sessions, such as Nicodemus.

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