Friday, October 1, 2010

Four Things to do When You Feel Overwhelmed in Leadership:

Last week, I felt myself sinking into the chaos of good things (new ideas, new leaders, new ministries, new initiatives).  I take shepherding very seriously.  I don't want to miss one opportunity to see a person take their next step toward Christ.  I don't want to see even one leader burnout, because they weren't getting support from me.  I want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to make disciples.  Sometimes doing "everything possible" can be overwhelming, and I was feeling the pressure last week.  

So, in an attempt to preempt desperation, I spilled my guts to a few teammates and asked for prayer.  Along with prayer, Pastor Jim gave me a suggestion that I won't forget.  He told me to write out all the things I am responsible for (ministry, family, etc.) on a piece of paper and lay it out before God.  I did.  Since then, I have had one of the most effective ministry weeks in the last 2 years.  God is good!  

As a result, I have a few suggestions for anyone in the position I was last week:
  1. Consecrate your work to God rather than trying to work yourself out of the hole. I'd been trying to work myself out of the hole, but the e-mails, ideas, needs and great commission never stops.  God was reminding me that He needs to be in control of ministry, because I will never be.  I gave back to Him what was already His.  
  2. Get organized.  Map out the next steps for every area you oversee.  Keep it somewhere you will check often. I started using Google Smartsheets to organize ministry and Gmail to organize my e-mails.  Google is the electronic equivalent to Mary Poppins.  I'm pretty sure I could hear "Spoon Full of Sugar' play as I watched my e-mails organize into threads to be archived, deleted or answered with ease.  Seriously, this thing is awesome!  
  3. Hold your leaders accountable to their commitments, even if they are volunteers.  Leaders feel valued when they are held accountable.  It is a very real way of saying, "What you do matters."  
  4. Trust your leaders to take on more.  God doesn't want you to do more than you can.  If He has given you responsibilities, He has also given you leaders to help you get the job done.  Look around.  They are already there.  
It is a good thing that Christ has promised to build his church (Matthew 16:18).  I'm just here to obey as He does the building.

So, what do you do when your responsibilities seem too much?  Have I missed anything?  

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