You Can’t Pour From an Empty Bucket, Part 3

Physical Health

Youth workers – paid and volunteer – are constantly asked to pour into others. So, how do we make sure our own buckets don’t run dry? This series is encouraging self-evaluation in the area of personal health. For the sake of conversation, we’ve divided personal health into four big areas: relational, intellectual, physical and spiritual. We’ve explored relational health and intellectual health already. Today, we’re diving into physical health. How do You Can’t Pour From an Empty Bucket, Part 3you keep your physical bucket full?

Your Physical Bucket

What is it?

Your physical body was created by our heavenly Father. As with all of God’s creation, we are stewards of what He has made. I am the chief steward of the body I’ve been given. You’re the chief steward of your body. So, what does it mean to steward our bodies well?

We involve ourselves in the good work our God has given us to do (Ephesians 2:10). That means we serve in our various vocations – as father, mother, friend, neighbor, teacher, student, employee, employer, etc. We care for others as we’re able. We “pour into” others.

All this work is draining, so how do we fill up? Diet, exercise and sleep have huge implications on whether our physical buckets are staying full or running dry. Paying attention and making sure these three are pouring in can keep your physical bucket from being drained.

What fills you?

A better question for this bucket might be “What motivates you?” Are you going to respond to a challenge? Include an element of competition in your exercise routine. Is personal accountability helpful? Journal your health habits and routines and report regularly to a friend who will hold you to your goals. Do you hate wasting money? Pay for a gym membership & personal trainer.

Keeping our buckets full is also a matter of keeping these things in perspective. We steward our bodies so we can serve well. Being healthy is not my god. Being healthy is in service to God.

How are you doing?

Take out a piece of paper and draw a horizontal line. Make a hash mark every inch-or-so and number the marks 1 through 10. Now, place a mark on the line indicating how many hours of sleep you need each night. Some people need more and some need less. How many hours do you need? Now, use a different color and place a mark indicating how many hours you’ve been getting lately. What did you learn from this? Does making this information visual change your insights? If this is helpful, consider doing the same exercise to mark your hours of exercise weekly.

Other Resources

If you’re a church-worker on a Concordia Health Plan, take advantage of the Be Well Rewards program. This incentive program has some great tools to help you be more conscious of health choices. Plus, there are monetary incentives to encourage you to fill your physical bucket!

A Fill Up

Matthew 6:31-32

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

About the author

Matt Behrens is a screwed-up mess who's loved by Jesus. He's learning what it means to live in that reality as a husband & father, and as a child of God. Matt is a pastor to Buda, Kyle & south Austin through The Well, and he loves to bike, climb, explore and experience life with neighbors and friends. Connect with Matt through
View more from Matt

Related Resources

Why Build Resilient Youth in Youth Ministry?

Why Build Resilient Youth in Youth Ministry?

What is a resilient identity in Christ and why is it important for a healthy youth ministry? Check out this blog from the Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry to find out more.

The Habits That We Make – Fundraising

The Habits That We Make – Fundraising

Should youth ministry, or any other ministry for that matter, rely on fundraising to significantly support their ministry functions? Sometimes the habits of fundraising get youth ministry into trouble. This article is designed to help you think more strategically about fundraising.

The Habits That We Make: Parents

The Habits That We Make: Parents

We all have harmful habits, even in our churches. This article helps us think about how we might have habits where parents are not growing in their own Biblical education or even expecting the church and its workers to be the primary teachers of the Christian faith for their children. By identifying these kinds of habits, we can see how we might change them.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

As youth workers, we need to remember that this cohort that experienced the COVID pandemic during their younger years experienced it differently than adults. Through research, Dr. Tina Berg has been able to identify key learnings that can help us care for young people, particularly confirmands, in the wake of the pandemic.

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

We all have habits, some intentionally developed and others not. Knowing our habits in ministry can be important. For example, we may tend to isolate kids and/or youth from the rest of the congregation. This article talks about how to identify this habit and push against it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How do I know if our youth ministry program is healthy and properly caring for our teens?

Discover how you can enhance your youth ministry and serve the youth in your church with Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry.

Share This