Boredom is dangerous, especially in ministry. It can just sneak up on you, and when boredom takes over, temptation takes hold. Boredom is probably the greatest enemy of faith and love. Both faith and love are active. They require that we use them like muscles. Boredom causes atrophy. Boredom makes us ignore the miraculous and look instead for drama.
There is a lot that one can do to combat boredom. You could work on your sermon, re-reading some of those books from seminary. That sermon probably is not as good as you think it is anyway. We all could read more. You might actually prepare for worship by going over the service. Look up why we do what we do.
How about developing a new class for new members? You could visit a few parishioners and shut-ins or call a few visitors. You could write encouraging notes to people. Be the first person to visit the hospital when someone calls. Go down and volunteer somewhere each week. Maybe you could even develop a new opportunity for outreach in the parish. There actually is a lot that you could be doing. It may not be sexy or exciting, but frankly, it is what you should be doing anyway. Heck, if you were doing all this, you would not be bored.
Of course, you might want to explore why you are bored. Maybe it is time to look for a new position, but maybe it is something deeper. From where might that dissatisfaction come? Is it a matter of changing your perception? Or is the Spirit telling you it is time to leave?
In the meantime, during your discernment (in your boredom), you might want to avoid doing these:
• Whatever you do, leave the bulletin boards alone! Sure, they look terrible because the lady who does them has no eye for design, but do not touch them unless you would like to have pins and notes sticking to you. That is not the ditch you want to die in.
• Do not start calling your boss by affectionate names in staff meeting, even if the meeting is about 40 minutes too long. For some reason, no one likes the nickname “Long winded baboon.” Sure, monkeys are kind of cute, but do not say it. I guarantee that if you shout that out in the meeting, you will not be bored, but you will be unemployed or worse, in charge of the bulletin boards.
• Now is not the time to point out the deficiencies of the cleaning crew at church. Dust bunnies may be breeding under your desk, planning to revolt, and take control of your office, but if you start whining, you can bet that dust bunnies will not be the only things under your desk.
• Stay out of the Cathedral bell tower. No one cares that the bell is two notes or two minutes off. Let’s not figure out just how they work. Remember the movie “Vertigo”?
• Let’s be honest, the boss does not want to hear your suggestions for improving efficiency or sermon critique, but I am sure he will not mind talking to you about Budget efficiency.
• Trust me; there are no positions in England available for hot lady priests right now. Don’t bother because I have checked.
• It is never going to work out with the handsome interior decorator that comes every Sunday with his friend Antonio. Leave it alone. Stop thinking about it. He may have washboard abs. You might wonder if he has tan lines (he doesn’t). He is not interested, at all. Ain’t nothing but heartbreak and ecclesiastical court down that road.
• Do not suggest that maybe we should change the Sunday School curriculum, unless you would like your body discovered disemboweled in the nursery. You might be right, and you might end up standing in front of a classroom filled with monsters demonstrating Jesus walking on the water with a felt board.
The list goes on and on. Like I said, boredom is dangerous.