Are you ready?
End of the summer. A new term beckons. A new year. Forget January 1, September is the start of the new year, we all know that, don’t we? Students back, new school year for the kids.
This particular year may feel a little different. The pandemic is now firmly in the rear-view mirror (though Covid lingers in some places.) Now we’re facing something at least as fierce. Anxiety over paying our energy bills. The prices in the supermarket. These are real issues for people in your community.
Are you ready?
Ready to lead them through a time of testing? After the quiet months of the summer, there is a real temptation to do a ‘re-set.’ Maybe try some new things. Perhaps be a little bolder in setting a clear vision. Nothing wrong with those ideas, of course, but on the back of them comes the temptation to work harder.
Got to work harder.
Got to project to the congregation that I’m working hard. They like that. So here come twelve-hour days. Even worse, maybe you are one of those leaders who only just made it to June/July. You collapsed, exhausted, into the summer. Now it’s September, it’s time to get back on the horse. Another nine or ten months of the flat-out.
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, or you’re familiar with our philosophy here at Living Leadership, you’ll know what we think of that approach. Not much. In fact, we exist to counter this kind of attitude to leadership.
Work, work, work, then drop. No, absolutely not. That is NOT godly, and it is not right.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
Godly rhythms of work call for a life rhythm that incorporates rest. Right at the heart of how we live. So, as you begin this new year, I have some questions for you:
Did you ‘collapse’ into the summer? If so, how is that approach to life working for you? Do you intend to ‘do it all again’ this year?
Do you have regular rhythms of rest in your life? If so, what are they? Are they working?
What changes do you need to make in order to create space for rest?
You may have heard this little aphorism: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I’m not sure I totally agree with it, but this I will say—when facing a challenge, it’s essential to set out clear, achievable goals. In short, a plan.
May I, therefore, encourage you to consider carefully how you will approach this coming year? Some more questions.
What changes do you need to make to live a godly life of service and rest?
What support do you have to help you navigate the challenges of leading your church?
How is God speaking to you about the need to rest and find support?
TALK TO A LIVING LEADERSHIP ASSOCIATE
In answering question two above, may I encourage you to consider meeting with one of our Associates? Here are four reasons why this is a good idea.
1. They are—every one—wise and godly people.
2. Collectively, they have hundreds of years of experience in the work you’re doing. Each Associate has decades of experience. And I mean decades, plural.
3. They are outside your community. This means you can speak freely about any issue you’re facing without worrying about betraying confidentiality. They will focus on you, alone, to help you process the challenges you’re facing. They won’t judge. They will listen. They will pray with you.
To get connected with a member of the team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘this is looking suspiciously like a marketing blog for Living Leadership!’ Well, you’re partly right. In a world where there is no such thing as a free lunch, we offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We exist only to bless and support you.
So, here’s my final invitation.
As I finish, may I encourage you in your role as leader? If you’re looking for a re-set, you can’t do better than remind yourself of your job description. Your purpose.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.
Equip the saints. Or as Jesus puts it, ‘make disciples.’
The Lord has called you. He is with you.
Even to the end of the age.