If you want to safeguard your ministry, focusing regularly on your personal and spiritual growth is not an option, it is essential self care. Pursuing character and competency over charisma means honestly looking at your own shortcomings and seeking to grow in and with an attitude of humility.
Self care is about more than you
As the leader goes, so goes the organization. There has been ample evidence of this in recent years. And so often the negative outshines the positive.
Many from all generations, but especially the young, are currently in the process of deconstructing their faith—mining through their beliefs to determine what comes from humans and what comes from God. For some the process strengthens their faith in Jesus. But for others, it is difficult to separate the pain and anger of their experience with fallible man in order to engage with a loving God.
We must all be careful of what we are replicating.
No one plans to fail
Personal development of the leader, which encompasses things like spirituality, maturity, and character, is the foundation on which everything else in the ministry rests.
With every leader, their personal development (or lack thereof) changes the trajectory of the organization.
Even minor flaws of the founding leader appear throughout the rest of the organization.. The DNA of the leader, positive and negative, will flow through the rest of the organization.
Safeguarding your personal growth is key to avoiding failure, moral and otherwise.
Testing your character
Even Jesus, at the outset of his earthly ministry, underwent a testing of his character (Matthew 4:1-11). And where does true character really show up? Not when you’re at your best and strongest, but when you’re at your weakest. After fasting for forty days in the wilderness, Jesus was hungry, and probably lonely and tired. That’s when he was tempted: by food, by power, wealth.
If we do not develop our character so we can withstand temptation during the difficult times, we will not be ready for ministry leadership. Investment in our own personal development is of paramount importance for those who wish to lead well… and there are no shortcuts.
Journaling for personal growth
While you may have a sabbatical or (we hope) at least a nice vacation planned for this summer, temptation in biblical proportions is not likely to be on your self care to do list. Instead, consider using these journaling prompts to help you assess and safeguard your own character.
- Write down a story where you recently demonstrated kindness and compassion.
- What do you do when you are in over your head?
- Write down two situations in which you persevered this year. Identify what helped.
- How is your anger level these days? List positive and negative contributing factors.
- What circumstances regularly challenge your patience?
- What area(s) would you rather not be honest with your spouse? Your team?
- How have you responded to criticism lately? Internally? Externally?
Consider sharing your journal entries with a mentor or counselor as you think through and pursue your points for growth.
You matter more than you will ever know.
An Undivided Heart
“I have used Bob Logan’s books in the seminary and in pastoral leadership settings, but this one is written for my friends and neighbors.” —Kendra Diehl, VP of Ministry Formation and Innovation, The Master’s Institute Seminary, Regional Leader for The Harvest Network International
The state of disunity in our current culture was heavy on our hearts when my friend, Ralph Plumb and I wrote this book. Where better to start bridging the gaps than within one’s own heart?
An Undivided Heart: Living and Loving like Jesus isn’t an instruction manual with step-by-step procedures. It is a journey, unique to you, that begins with your unique relationship with Jesus. Living with an undivided heart will naturally lead to living an undivided life. Cultivation of the heart flows into action.
Need a coach?
You have vision but getting there is tougher than you thought it would be. A coach helps you identify and find ways through the various road blocks to make your vision a healthy reality. Bob Logan is currently taking on new coaching clients. Contact us to set up a complimentary 30-minute conversation to learn more about how coaching can move your vision forward.