Leadership is not for the faint hearted but it is undoubtedly immensely rewarding … and I love it!
I hope this week’s church leader insights will help you lead with even more courage.
Last week I attended a conference for church leaders, pastors, and church planters. I went looking to be refreshed and encouraged.
I wanted to grow as a leader.
I was hoping to get some new tools to lead and minister better. I expected to leave the conference energized and excited to get back and get to work…applying the things that I had learned.
Those things didn’t happen. But, something else did.
I’m not sure if it was the goal of the conference or not, but there were two themes that permeated every speaker’s talk.
Two things that they continued to go back to time and time again. Two truths that exist in the life of most, if not every, leader’s life. And, they’re two realities about the life of a leader that I sincerely wish weren’t true.
The first is that leadership comes with pain.
Pain for a leader comes from lots of different places and looks different for every leader…but it’s there. There’s pain from the betrayal of someone that you thought was a good friend. Pain of criticism from people that have no idea what you’re going through. Pain from gossip and assumptions about something that happened that you can’t speak about, so people draw their own conclusions as the truth.
And, the hardest part of the pain that leaders experience is that we often don’t deal with it in a healthy way. We allow it to either make us bitter or apathetic.
Leaders need to be able to maintain a high level of energy.
Energy creates stamina and endurance that can assist you in producing results, leading effectively, increasing productivity, and moving the team or organization toward the vision.
Energy gets you going and leads you toward achievement. Jules Verne said, “An energetic man will succeed where an indolent one would vegetate and inevitably perish.” When you feel like your energy level is being depleted and you still have a lot of work for the day, here are practical ways to energize yourself:
1. Take a 15-20 minute nap
A short power nap can do wonders for you. I’d say taking a short nap in the middle of your day gives you more energy than a cup of coffee or energy drink.
When you are feeling de-energized, grab a pillow instead of a drink with a lot of sugar and caffeine. You will wake up from your nap ready for the rest of your day. Try it out and see for yourself.
2. Get moving
You can give yourself energy if you get your body moving.
Force yourself to take a walk, jog, or spend some time doing cardio. Starting to move your body or exercising can increase your heart rate and gets your blood flowing. In turn it releases endorphins into your body and when this happens the benefit is a natural energy boost.
Consider, taking the steps, going on a walk during a break, or parking in the back of the parking lot so you can get your body moving.
As I write this, it’s the morning after a dozen police officers were shot, five of them fatally, sacrificing themselves to defend the freedom of people to protest. It’s been a terrible few days for America.
Ironically, before any of this began, I had begun preparing the first sermon in a new series of messages we’ll be preaching at Grace Hills starting on Sunday, July 17 called What We Stand FOR. In a time when the church’s brand seems to have developed around all the stuff we’re against, what are the things that we, as followers of Jesus, are actually for?
I wanted our church to speak prophetically, with truth, grace, and hope, to our community and our culture in one of the craziest election years in the last century of American history. I’m realizing now that the timing of the series is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
There’s never been a more appropriate time for us, as Christians, to ask ourselves what Jesus wants his movement, his people, his Kingdom to stand for.
The four major topics, again, chosen before the events of this week, seem quite appropriate for us to re-discover. I believe they reflect the values of Scripture, as modeled and taught by Jesus, and as exemplified by a freshly commissioned early New Testament church.
They are timeless values that have the power to bring redemption and healing to a broken humanity…
Equality. Justice. Mercy. Liberty.
A lot of people are talking about a leadership crisis facing the church.
Where are the next generation leaders going to come from to pick up the mantle of this movement called the church?
While many are fretting and talking about it few are doing much about it.
Most churches become paralyzed searching for the perfect, sophisticated, detailed leadership development box curriculum to help them chart a way forward. There is no perfect plan, and if you wait for one you’ll never actually do anything.
So in that spirit here are 3 simple steps you can take to start developing the young talent on your church staff.
#1 Prepare them Ahead of Time
Give them plenty of practice! Create as many game-like repetitions as you possibly can before you throw them out there on the field and see if they can play. Set them up for success through training to hone their skills and develop their knowledge base. Help them come up with a great game plan (review the game plan with them ahead of time) and then send them out on the field to execute when they’re ready.
#2 Encourage them During Execution
Young leaders don’t learn to lead in a classroom but by leading.
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