Life management needs to become more acceptable words in God’s global churches everywhere, according to Pastor Ricardo Miller. He said burnout in ministry and mismanagement of one’s personal life are both real.
The pastor and life coach said he wants people in ministry to know that they can do both, but that they will have to become better at managing themselves and implementing things. He encourages people to remind themselves that moving forward is all about making time for what matters most in life – family, friends, and giving back while fulfilling their God-given assignment.
“We do have a personal life, even after we have accepted the call of God on our lives. It is possible to manage life and ministry very well,” said Miller who learned the hard way. “For years, I traveled the world and spoke to hundreds at churches and equipping those who are called to do ministry while neglecting my personal life.”
It was in August 2021 when Miller spoke out about life after divorce after he went through the process after 18 years of marriage. At the time, he said, as a Christian minister, children’s pastor, internationally known children’s evangelist and radio host in Dallas, Texas, going through the divorce process was embarrassing, hurtful and humiliating. He found himself at age 45, divorced.
Miller reinvented himself as a life management coach helping to bring about balance to believers’ everyday walk, after two decades as a children’s ministry influencer.
He has since remarried to Karen Miller. They were wed on December 1, 2022.
“The term life management needs to become a more acceptable word in God’s global churches everywhere,” said Miller. “The Bible teaches that, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’ (Hosea 4:6) It also teaches us in Proverbs 3:5 ‘And with all thy getting get an understanding.’ I believe more now than ever, we need to get an understanding on some of the healthy ways we can do life and ministry together.”
Miller’s definition of life management is the ability to handle everything a person needs in order to live a productive, happy and fulfilling life in Christ.
“It’s closely related to time management, but it goes way beyond making to-do lists and filling out your day planner as a believer.”
Miller recently spoke to a 2,000-plus audience at a children’s ministry leaders event in Nashville, Tennessee, and said he was blown away by the number of people who approached him and admitted to struggling with managing life and ministry.
He encourages people to learn to manage themselves better; learn to set boundaries; learn to identify the signs of burnout; learn to say no; and to learn to have a plan for life and ministry.
Miller said people should learn to manage themselves better.
“The Bible teaches, to whom much is given, much is required. It is very important that we learn to be good stewards over that which has been given to us. Self-management is the word we must all embrace.”
Learning to set boundaries he said is also important.
“Most people struggle with setting boundaries because they don’t know what it means. This means learning to draw and respect your own lines. No one else is going to draw your lines for you. You may sometimes wonder: Why don’t the people who love me help me not overdo it? Often, it’s because they want you to be successful! And a marker of success in our society is being busy. They may be just as busy as you – or they may not even know what your boundaries are,” he said.
Miller encourages people to learn to identify the signs of burnout. He said a vacation will not prevent or “cure” burnout.
“Many people believe taking time off will help them quickly bounce back from impending, or full-on burnout – but a few days off isn’t enough to keep the ‘tide’ from coming in or to turn it back around. That’s because burnout isn’t only about the hours you’re putting in, it’s also a function of the stories you tell yourself and how you approach what you do in ministry and at home.”
Learning to say no he said is also important.
“We’ve got to remember that every good thing is not a God thing. There’s a time and a purpose for us to say no in all of our lives. It is super important that we discover those important times. We’ve all got to learn to say no to anything that doesn’t align with the purpose of God for our lives.”
Miller encourages people to learn to have a plan for life and ministry.
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail. A lot of believers are afraid of planning because they think it’s going to edge God out of their lives. It could not be anything further from the truth.”
He said planning is the greatest measure of faith and that it is critically important that people remember that proper planning is wisdom.
“Please know you can do both – but you’re going to have to become better at managing yourself and implementing the suggestions. Remind yourself moving forward that it’s all about making time for what matters most in life – family, friends, and giving back while fulfilling your God-given assignment.”
Miller said he does not believe anybody begins to serve in ministry with the intent to eventually stop serving or quitting ministry. And that while in prayer, the Lord revealed to him that a lot of people will walk away from ministry even though it is the thing that they’ve been called to do.
“He revealed to me it was lack of self-management,” said Miller, who has more than 25 years of ministry.
“As a pastor and a life management coach, I am extremely concerned for those who are called to do ministry and don’t know how to balance the call of God on their life, while not neglecting the other aspect of their lives.”