1. I’ve learned the importance of saying no.
Growing up I was always the go-to for dramas, music, leadership, etc. I simply could not say yes to everything or I would have been too busy. I already played 2 sports and was on a youth worship team in high school, so doing much beyond that was always tough. Whether you are talented with “up front” talents (speaking, music, leadership) or not, people will always ask you to be involved with something. If you don’t learn how to say no, church will become a burden guaranteed. Of course, never saying yes means that you won’t learn the beauty that serving can be. It is my prayer that when I do enter paid church ministry that I will still view it as serving and not a job. I have noticed that my wife says she feels bad about saying no to anything, and that is a feel I am numb to now. I say no when I don’t have time and when I say no I don’t feel bad about it. It is much better to do effective serving, than serving out of an inability to say no.
This enters us to the discussion of burnout. I’ve always felt that few things are as valuable a gift as time and I’ve always tried to give of my time when I had time to give. More often than not I think ministry burnout comes from selfishness, lack of focus on God, and bad time management. It is real and possible…for sure, but I think it is totally avoidable too and saying no is one way to avoid it.