Specific gauges to measure your church, ministry or life are always helpful. So I am sure this week’s church leader insights will prove to be of some benefit to you.
Enjoy it all!
There are a variety of jobs in the world. Some are by nature less intense than others. I’ve had several friends that have worked as late-night security guards at various buildings or housing developments.
Although their presence was important, they often related to me that the job itself was not particularly intense: they regularly spent time reading books, studying for exams, or otherwise filling their attention while on the clock.
My experience in full time ministry has been somewhat different. Not only is presence important, but the intensity is fairly high. I am rarely in a position of struggling to figure out how to fill my time simply to put in the required hours.
More often, we face decisions about what to say no to, what to let go of, because there isn’t enough time or energy to do everything that we could possibly invest ourselves in.
There’s no end to the relationships, the preparation, the communication, the meetings that we could involve ourselves with.
But how do we know when we’re outpacing ourselves?
How do we know if we’re pushing ourselves too hard, for too long— over amping on our intensity in unhealthy and unsustainable ways?
Anglican minister James Lawrence presents this idea as “living in the red zone” (see Chapter 4 of his book Growing Leaders).
He uses the analogy of the tachometer in a car: a measurement of the revolutions per minute as an indicator of how hard the engine is running.
Every car has a uniquely calibrated red zone marked on the tachometer, which indicates a dangerous level of engine output. Sustained operation of the vehicle at or beyond this level will result in inefficiency and, ultimately, engine failure.