Preventing Leadership Exhaustion – Our First Love!

The most important step in preventing leadership exhaustion is keeping our first love, first! Actually, this is the only way. If we don’t stay close to the Lord’s side, we will hit the wall of burn out. We all know this, we all speak it out so why is it so hard to put it into practice? We have a real adversary who’s sly, cunning and a terrific liar. ‘Ever told yourself, “If I don’t do this I’ll disappoint so and so, I must add this to my schedule or the board will lose faith in me, I need to do that because I take a salary from this church.” Or how about the one I hear most often, “it’s just the season we are in.” To which I always reply, ‘where in scripture do you read that Jesus worked Himself to the point of exhaustion but only for a season?’

The popular quote says “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy”, which will lead to exhaustion and bad decisions. As the schedule becomes more demanding, the first thing shortened and often let go of altogether is our one-on-one time with the Lord. The enemy loves this! Any relationship that isn’t nurtured will become distant, disconnected and we feel dismayed with the one we love. The Lord Loves, even ENJOYS spending time with us. He knows we NEED to spend time with Him. In that one-on-one time we get refreshed and filled up. It’s where we can pour out our heart, empty the trash in our soul, receive clarity and direction. In our time with the Lord we’re not a pastor, leader, father, mother, wife or husband; we’re just a child. His child! We can curl up in our Father’s arms or sit at His feet and received from Him! Focused time with the Lord helps us to stay balanced with the busyness of leadership. It allows us to sense the still small voice of God and therefore gain more discernment in what should and shouldn’t be on our schedule. In Luke 10: 38–42, Martha was busy serving the Lord, while Mary was sitting at His feet. When Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her, He said, ‘No’; “… Mary has chosen what is good and it will not be taken from her.” (v.42) Serving the Lord, being about His business is good, but it’s never to replace the better thing, of making time to just sit in His presence and soak up His words for us.

*Charles Stanley wrote, “God does not want you to run yourself into exhaustion, even by doing ‘good deeds’ or ‘church work’. Instead, He desires that you rest in Him. He is our Burden-Bearer. You may have reached the end of your rope, but God never will.” “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable (impossible to understand). He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Is. 40:28–31, NASB)

We all need to slow our pace enough to allow the Lord to speak to us, daily. We need to go to Him for a word for ourselves, not our congregation, or the retreat, but for us personally. It’s taking His hand and walking at His pace along this journey.

I will continue this thought in my next blog later this week. What does that specifically look like? I’d love to hear from all of you on how you commune with the Lord.

*The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, ebook, pg. 817

If you are needing more help in staying balanced or returning to balance, please consider reaching out to a coach or counselor. Below are some resources…

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