Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Fall Jump-Start: Q & A Week 1

Fall Jump-Start: Q & A Week 1

Hi, friends! I’m back!! Thank you so much for sticking with me during my July blogging hiatus. I feel refreshed and ready to jump back into blogging and speaking … almost.

For most of us, August is still a month of vacations, back-to-school and a few more long summer nights sitting on the deck. September really marks the beginning of the speaking/women’s ministry season, so we’ve got just a little time left.

Let’s make it a time to work through some questions … to plan … to dream together.

I promised when I came back to answer the questions you left in the comments and sent to my email box, so I’ll be doing that at least through the month of August, ending with a short series on speaker fees. I know that’s one area most of us find difficult, so we’ll build to that topic.

Here’s the first question from Terri: (Stay tuned for some free resources at the end of the post too.)

My ministry-related question that’s plaguing me relates to this: I founded a single-parent ministry several years ago and just published a book for single moms while working full time. Now I work part-time, but still struggle with the juggling/balancing act. I’ve recently realized that we’ve been running the ministry in a “cart-before-the-horse” mode and have come to a standstill. We don’t have a formal Board and I know this is crucial. God is the one who opened all doors for the ministry, therefore, I know He’ll provide as I step aside and pray for the leaders He wants. I also need to work on 2 more books to follow the one just published, and market, promote, etc. My plaguing question is this: I have lost all my want-to. No passion, fire or vision is left. I was a single mom for 19 years, knowing He called me to this ministry and to write for single moms. I’m 54, remarried to a wonderful man, but have hit a brick wall. I know all the biblical answers, believe, trust and love Jesus to the core, which is why I’m perplexed with this. Help!

Terri, this question is super important, because I think we’ve all been at this level of overwhelmed at some point. Some of us live in that place of exhaustion. It seems like there are so many demands placed on all of us as women, but ministry adds a whole other dimension of giving. Having said that, I know we women who love Jesus have a deep sense that ministry for Him should be a joy, not a burden. How do we do it?

I’ve got several ideas:

  • Make a prioritized list– Just reading Terri’s question makes me tired. She’s truly carrying a huge load! Even with a big load, though, I believe multi-tasking is a myth. She Speaks attendees often have the same reaction to all the information they’ve been presented as you have to all the tasks on your list. I always give the same advice to them. Make a huge long list of action items for the things you want to do. During an extended time with the Lord (maybe even a day retreat full of prayer, Bible study and worship), present your list to Him and ask Him to help you to order and prioritize your list. Then just work through the list one item at a time. Our tendency is to look at the length of the list, the number of tasks or the amount of information, to become overwhelmed and then to shut down. If we’ll take the “I can only do what I can do” approach, focusing on doing one task well at a time, the mental weight lifts.
  • Build a team–I think Terri is on the right track with creating a board. If you are a non-profit, a board is required. If you’re not, then building a support prayer and volunteer team may be the first step. My friend Tara started her ministry with a volunteer team. As her ministry grew, she became a non-profit, added a board and has hired some of her original team into part-time positions. Also, I’m watching miraculous things happen with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I believe the explosive growth is happening primarily because our team has expanded to include many gifts and points of view. Not only will you be lightning your load by building a team, you’ll get the joy of seeing the body of Christ function as it was designed!
  • Know when to say yes and when to say no–Reading about how God has provided not only ministry opportunities but a wonderful husband for Terri brought tears to my eyes. He is so good! We have to know when to work and when to revel in rest. We have to know when to prioritize the gifts called family and when to turn our attention to writing, speaking, etc. Now I’m going to give a shameless plug for a book I’m bursting to tell the world about…Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes which is releasing Aug. 12 is the best book I’ve ever read on this topic, and it’s my favorite book of Lysa’s ever. Truly. She’s doing a free webcast on launch day with information I know will help us all with the area of overload and over busyness. Click here to pre-register for the webcast. Click here to sign up for 5 free days of “Unrush Me” devotions.

I hope this helps, Terri, and I hope you’ve each gotten some ideas of how to manage the overload you feel. If you have any wise words about taming more list than day,  please share with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Bonus: Click here to download this cute free to-do list above.


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  1. Lisa Rippy says:

    Thank you so much Amy! Printed it all off and putting it to practice!

  2. Welcome back and perfect timing! From my own journey and walking with many others as a life coach, STRESS and busyness are ‘infecting’ our relationships and health. I’m in the middle of teaching a four week Stress Busters Workshop in my area and it was challenging to not be stressed as it came together!

    Could Lysa’s book be a follow up book study? I said “perfect timing,” right? If we don’t manage stress it will manage us. I’m thrilled to have a new resource and thinking my certification in Stress Management is perfect timing too! I look forward to your emails Amy.

    Breathe frazzled sistas! Lysa to the rescue!

    1. Yes, indeed! Make sure to sign up for the free webcast on launch day–Aug. 12–on Lysa’s blog. Can’t wait!!

  3. Amy, your post resonates! It speaks to the situation I’ve found myself in this year. I published my book in January and spoke 12 times between the beginning of February and end of May. At which time my husband pointed out this was not a sustainable pace for me or the family. He was so right. I was burnt out and feeling overwhelmed.

    You’re suggestions are right on target! I’ve spent the summer prioritizing, I’ve contracted with a manager to help me with all the booking stuff as well as to provide another perspective. So she and Matt are functioning as my “Board” right now.

    I can’t wait to read Lysa’s new book. And I’m planning to work my schedule better this next year so I can attend SheSpeaks in 2015! Missed seeing you.

    1. I missed you too! So happy to hear about the doors God is opening, though. Hugs!