Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to Deal With Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

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If you're part of The Salvation Army in Australia or New Zealand, you'll know what Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression is. I'm calling it PRSAD.

PRSAD hits us all this time of year. You've worked hard. You've tried to raise as much as you can. You've given it all you've got. You've called out for volunteers. You've rang volunteers. You've booked in shops. You've stood at shops. You've slept at shops.

It's been a big opportunity to raise funds for the work of the Salvos. And whether we did well, or struggled this year, we need to know some things:

The Symptoms of Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

Now, let me be clear. I'm not speaking about depression in the medical sense. Put that aside for the experts to speak on. I'm speaking about the feeling you get a week later when you think about the fact you could've done better. The concern about what people in leadership might say. The cold and flu that kicks in because you were standing at the railway station for too long. Other symptoms include:

- Wondering why some people didn't sign up to help
- Wondering why some people gave lots and others ignored you
- Wondering why some volunteers were passionate about the Red Shield Appeal, and others in your church avoided you this time of year.
- Wondering why the rain seems to fall every May at the end of the month.

How to Deal with Post-Red Shield Appeal Depression

I wrote on facebook this statement following the main Red Shield Appeal weekend:

You are not your Red Shield Appeal Total.

Think on that for a moment. Whether you raised more than previous years, or had a year that you'd like to forget, the fact is, success in fundraising does not define you. We personally had a good year at Craigieburn. And guess what? PRSAD still kicked in. Hmm.. what if we had collected at the railway stations on a consistent basis? Imagine if we were not stifled by rain? I wonder what would've happened if we had extra volunteers to fill that shopping centre? Why do some Corps still raise so much more than us?
Success in ministry is not necessarily defined by numbers in your congregation or tallies depicted on a Red Shield Appeal database. To see a church grow in a spiritually-dry kind of area, is far harder than witnessing a church grow in the midst of a bible-belt. It is all about context.

You deal with post-red shield appeal depression by looking at whether you did the best with your time and energy and then thank God for the result.

We can always be better leaders. I understand that. We can always pull in a better result. But the goal is to do your PB. Now, that's not to say you should do a Pete Brookshaw. I don't think you should be copying me!! I'm saying do your Personal Best. Then be ok with that.

There is probably a bigger point to make here. In ministry in general, you need to know yourself. You need to understand when you've done your absolute best. Then you can look back and give all glory to God, fully understanding that that is all that God requires of you. 

God bless you as you deal with PRSAD.



Hebrews 6:9b-14 – ‘We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.

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