(Audio) 3 Fuels To Prevent Burnout

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Leadership Burnout: 4 Signs To Watch For

“Leadership is a marathon, NOT¬†a sprint.”

You’ve heard this before. ¬†Church leadership requires a healthy pace. ¬†You and I; ¬†we’re not Superman. ¬†We’re definitely not God. ¬†So we need to stop living our lives like we are.

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As leaders in the Church, you and I have a huge responsibility.  This is all the more reason we must be attentive to our spiritual, physical, and emotional health regularly.

Here are 4 signs to beware of:

Short temper |¬†Anyone ever accused you of being snappy? ¬†Maybe your spouse or a co-worker? ¬†And when they address it doesn’t it make us even SNAPPIER? ¬†When we have been going full throttle for too long, anything (anyone) that appears to be a speed bump in our way ends up really irritating us. ¬†Watch out for this.

Fatigue |¬†Staying up too late and getting up too early. ¬†Have you ever said to yourself, “People survive on 3-4 hours of sleep a night all the time. ¬†I just need to push through this busy season.” ¬†Two thoughts here. ¬†1. That is simply justifying an unhealthy lifestyle. ¬†2. If you’re in church leadership, guess what? ¬†It’s always a busy season!

Told by others |¬†This one usually stings a bit. ¬†And the reason is usually because the person holding us accountable is someone we have a close relationship with. ¬†A spouse, close mentor, or good friend. ¬†That’s why it stings…because you and I know they’re right! ¬†Here are a few things I’ve personally been told: “Hey man, what’s up? You’ve been a bit distant lately.” ¬† “You have not checked in on me and how my family has been doing in quite a while. ¬†I miss that.” ¬† Are you O.K? You haven’t been yourself lately.”

Isolation | This one is huge!  Beware when you reach the point of dreading being around anyone.  You stop going to Small Group with your spouse during the week.  You tend to be the last one in at staff meetings and the first one to leave.  Your list of friends you can confide in has diminished to zero.

If you can relate to any of these today, please….talk to someone. ¬†Modify your schedule. ¬†Take a true Sabbath rest. ¬†Ask your spouse to pray for/with you.

If this isn’t you but you know someone who is in this place, do them a favor. ¬†Offer some loving accountability. ¬†Share this post with them. ¬†Offer to pray over them.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore your gut on this. ¬†Leave a comment below.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Has Busyness Intruded On Your Life?

I am sick and tired!

Literally, as I write this I have been knocked down for the last 5 days. ¬†I’ve missed work, gotten behind in my studies, and whined a lot to my family about how miserable I feel.

Truth | You and I are not super-human, and we’re definitely not God! ¬†We were not created to be invincible (I know, hard to believe).

Confession | I haven’t taken time to rest like I should. ¬†This is a huge reason I got sick. ¬†I have not had my quiet time with Jesus in the last week. ¬†I have not been proactive about taking a real Sabbath once a week.

So how did this happen to me?  How do we allow our days to spin out of control?

EASY!

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We let our priorities and healthy habits fall out of sight. ¬†When we don’t plan ahead…when intentionality becomes scarce…those things get replaced. ¬†So what takes their place? ¬†¬†Busyness!¬†

I don’t know about you, but I plan to be more intentional with my time. ¬†That’s simply going to mean looking ahead at my week and planning accordingly.

How about you?  How do you successfully keep busyness from leading the way?

Comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Comments, prayer requests, and questions are welcome below.
You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

3 Surprising Sabbatical Reflections

All leaders require rest……but all don’t realize it!

Sabbatical:  Similar to the purpose in our weekly Sabbath, a Sabbatical (at least in church terms) is a number of days or weeks set aside for Prayer, Bible intake, reflection, and physical rest.

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Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. РEzekiel 20:12

I’m fortunate to be serving on staff at a church that sees the benefit in it’s pastoral staff taking regular Sabbaticals. ¬†Recently, I returned from a 3-day Sabbatical. ¬†Here are three reflections I came away with after comparing this one with others I’ve had in past years.

They are always different | These times away are spiritual journeys. ¬†And since the Holy Spirit leads the way, it’s a good idea to not over-plan. ¬†Enter it with a focus, but leave enough margin open for God to reveal his intentions for you.

They always have value | Sometimes we simply need tons of physical rest. ¬†Other times fresh vision and insight is needed from reading the Word and listening to other teachers/preachers. ¬†And then there are those times when we are desperately searching God’s will in a heavy decision. ¬†No matter the ‘why,’ this time alone with God is always valuable.

They are never what you expected | This one was no exception. ¬†As usual, I began this most recent one with a handful of specific expectations. ¬†Things I wanted gain insight on from God. ¬†In keeping with how he usually does things, God provided just what I ‘needed’ and nothing more. ¬†And you know what? ¬†What he spoke was better than what I had asked for.

What have been your experiences with Sabbaticals?  What challenges come to mind for when contemplating experiencing something like this for yourself?

Comments and questions are always appreciated.

God says, “Quit!”

macIn Mac language we could even say, ‘Force Quit.’ ¬†Why? ¬†Because this subject is not easy. ¬†It takes determination and a thought out plan.
Here are some practical reasons for having a day of rest (a Sabbath).

1.  God did it.

His example should be good enough for us.  Period!

2.  God asks tells us to.

Its a simple question of obedience. ¬†As followers, we don’t get to pick and choose when we listen to Him. ¬†God’s not an egotistical power-monger. ¬†He always has reasons behind what He tells us…and we need to be OK with not always understanding those reasons.

3. ¬†We are not God…we need the rest.

Whether you work the ticket booth at the local cinema or you’re the CEO of a major corporation…you CAN take one day a week to NOT work. ¬†Screen your calls, mute your smart phone, don’t check emails, stay away from the office. ¬†Failure to do this WILL cause problems for you down the road.

4.  It says a lot about our priorities when we observe a real day of rest.

¬†Taking a weekly Sabbath day demonstrates commitment to God, our family, and our own spiritual health. ¬†And if you’re a pastor, it models a good example to your staff and church body.
Now, make a list of all the reasons that are keeping you from having a day of rest, rejuvenation, and awareness of God’s blessings ¬†in your life. ¬†Take that list to God in prayer and devise a plan to work past them.
What could you benefit from setting aside one complete day for this kind of rest?
Leave a comment below. ¬†I’d love to hear from you.

The One Commandment Most Church Leaders Break Often

Church leaders are some of the worst examples of modeling healthy rest.  I wrestled with this for years!

God even commands us to do it……yet we don’t.

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…the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work… ¬†Exodus 20:8-11

Now, I’m not talking about a legalistic approach to the Sabbath, which includes checking off a ton of boxes to show we are ‘keeping the law.’ The deeper purpose of the Sabbath is so much more.

Taking one day every week and giving it Sabbath consideration does two things.

  • It proves to God that we really do care about what He tells us.
  • It forces us to create healthy margin in an increasingly busy society.

So…why do church leaders constantly struggle with taking a full day of rest?

Guilt | This is especially true of senior leaders. ¬†“The church is paying me to be the Pastor at all times.” ¬†No they’re not! ¬†You are in your leadership position to lead the congregation in healthy relationship to God. ¬†That means letting others see in you how to live the life God has called us all to live.

Poor time management |¬†“There is work to be done every day of the week.” ¬†Yes there is, but it can be done in six days. ¬†Pre-plan your studying, phone calls, meetings, appointments, and regular tasks to fit into 5 or 6 days. ¬†This is what ‘keep the Sabbath holy’ means.

Savior complex | Can I just shoot straight on this one? ¬†If you think you can’t take a literal day of rest because someone in the church ‘might need’ you, there’s a problem. ¬†What eventually happens here is people in the church learn to lean more on us as pastors and less on their faith in Jesus.

May I offer you a challenge? ¬†Take one of your regular days off and give it Sabbath consideration. ¬†For me, that day is Monday. ¬†Sunday is church and leadership…that’s work.

Be sure to check out my post on ‘4 Tips To Having A Good Day Of Rest.’

If this helped you, I’d encourage you to share it with someone else who could use it today.

Join the discussion.  Leave a comment below. 

Top 5 Recent Leadership Posts

feedbackBelow are my¬†most popular posts on leadership. ¬†I’m sharing these with you for one key reason. ¬†I am looking to making a few¬†small adjustments with¬†my approach to my blog and I really need your input. ¬†Take a look.

1) Manage your life, or your life will manage you

2) Your worship style is not working

3) We’re going to skin our knee on ministry work

4) 5 tips to having a good day of rest

5) Taking the Church’s Biblical pulse

Now tell me…which of these post did you like the most and why?

What aspects of the content did you find most helpful, and what material do I need to change or completely get rid of?  Are there leadership topics/issues that I am missing?

I’d love your input. ¬†Either comment below or email me at brent@ccclive.org

(photo credit: www.jeffbullas.com)