In some ways, all the information available to leaders is overwhelming. The more I listen and learn, the more I wonder how in the world to get it all done. In another way, it’s just a simple reminder for anyone who happens to stumble across the information at any given time. That’s the way it was for this little podcast I listened to from Perry Noble. I had taken notes on it earlier this year and wanted to share them with you. This is a list of four things ministry leaders should be investing and this summer would be a good time to begin!
Invest in Personal Health
“In the event the cabin loses air pressure, please place the mask over your face first, then assist those around you who need help.” We’ve all heard these standard airline instructions. It’s slightly counter-intuitive to work with your own mask before helping your child. But if you are not able to breathe, you will be of no help to anyone! The same goes with personal health. Investing in regular exercise, a good diet and proper sleep will help you and those around you. Your investment into your personal health is part of being a good steward of your body. But it also helps you have energy for those most important relationships in your life; it helps you stay mentally sharp and focused while you’re at work and it helps you have a better attitude. You can delegate lots of things in life, but you can’t delegate health. You must exercise and eat right for yourself. No on else can do it for you.
Invest in Your Family
Make your family a priority. I once wrote an article entitled, You’re going to disappoint someone, try not to let it be your kids. I also have talked about the second most important relationship you should have. Both of these articles remind us to keep an emphasis on investing in family. Some people say what’s going on at home shouldn’t interfere with your work or ministry, but that just isn’t the case. You bring home into work and there’s no way around it. The investment you make in your family doesn’t always have to be a perfect balance. Ministry lives are no where close to 9-5 style living. It helps me to think about seasons – when one season has been over the top with ministry schedule, I try to pull away and invest special times at home. Here’s the best way to make sure you invest time with your family – put it on the calendar. What gets written down has a much better chance of happening. I include items on my to-do list that pop up regularly, such as praying for my family, playing music with my kids, sending letters home to them on a regular basis, going out with each of them at different times. and more.
Invest in Time With God
Don’t let your personal time with God slip by. I totally understand how at times it can happen. The lines between devotion and prayer are blurred with work and obligation. We discover after a while that we have been in a bit of a funk – the only time our Bible has been opened has been in our office for the next sermon or class. Pull out your calendar right now and determine the next free day (or morning) that you can get away to invest in your time with God. Take a long hike, sit down somewhere and think, read and pray. Create ways this summer to invest in your time with the Lord. How do ministry leaders stay fresh? They stay in God’s Word. That’s the only way it can happen. While our lives and schedules are screaming – Jesus is whispering. Take time to lay low and listen to him.
Invest in Personal Leadership Development
It costs money and time to get away for personal development. It’s an investment into the future. It’s often while attending a seminar or a conference – where you don’t have responsibilities – that clarity will come to issues you are facing. What you are learning begins to apply to your situation and circumstance. Quality leaders always look for ways to grow and invest in their work and ministry. It will cost you time and money, but the alternative may cost much more. Without constant personal growth, your ministry will stagnate, your decisions will become ingrown, your mission will become muddled and you will lose energy. Another great way to develop is to spend time reading. Here’s my list of books from last year!
Once again, this list isn’t meant to stress you out – but to serve as a reminder as it did for me. Blessings!
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