If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’ve undoubtedly heard The Speech. It’s the one about emergency rows, how to buckle your seatbelt and that your cushion can be used as a flotation device. The one part of The Speech that always bugged me when I was a kid was the part about how parents should put on their oxygen masks before assisting their children with their masks. What?!? I used to think, You’re telling my mom to take care of herself first? But, I’m a kid! She’s supposed to put ME first.

Now that I’m a lot older and a little less self-centered, I understand that the reasoning behind the mask rule is that if the cabin loses pressure and mom doesn’t get her own mask on ASAP, she’s going to pass out and won’t be any good to anyone. I’m sure that pretty much any parent’s instinct would be to put the mask on their child first, which is why that part of The Speech is so important.

Like that kid on the plane, sometimes we can mistake self-care for being self-ish. But, when we ignore our needs for rest and recuperation, we risk burning out, at which point, we can’t help ourselves or anyone else. Your pastor is no exception. When is the last time your pastor took some time away from his many responsibilities as a church leader to take care of his own spirit, mind and body? Does your church encourage its ministry leaders to regularly practice self-care? If not, #BeTheOne to start that conversation with your pastor and church leaders.