Every one is different! Now that is an original idea that I just thought of. I am not sure if this rule of thumb is for everyone, but it is important to me. I have always needed some part of the ministry which fits with my heart and gifts, something that gets me going in the morning.
Much of our ministry dovetails with others and their ministries and goals. And that is exciting and important. Other aspects of the ministry are important and we do them because we know they are important and necessary. Preaching, advertising distribution, counseling always needs to be done. But for me there is always a need for a niche, a ministry that makes me feel good and creative, something that others aren’t doing.
During our earlier days in the ministry, when I was about three rungs below sea-level on the scale of seniority the Lord gave me a number of projects that were niche-works. One was developing group prayer letters for the other missionaries. Another was developing our short-term missionary ministry, and then a homestay program, bringing Japanese to L.A. and Seattle to experience American culture, and hopefully connecting with Jesus. I suppose some of book editing that I did were also part of my special niche mentality.
For me those kinds of ministries, even though they probably were minor in overall importance allowed me to stay afloat, jump out of bed, and then work past normal working hours. Perhaps you are like me. If you are bogged down in the heavy ministry obligations, perhaps you need a niche, a side opportunity to serve the Lord and Japanese.