The Healthy Leader
This past week another mega church pastor was let go from the church he started. It’s heartbreaking and scary. It’s easy to cast stones or offer unhelpful thoughts on situations like this one. That’s not what this week’s post is about. This week’s post is about being a healthy leader. It’s not just mega church pastors who burn out, struggle, and do not finish well. Statistics say that only 1 out of every 10 pastors retires a pastor. Being a church leader is hard! At ChurchBOOM we want to make it easier. This post is not meant to add anything else to your plate. It’s to help you do a self check to see if there are blind spots that could one day derail your ministry.
Nobody plans on ruining their life, but at the same time very few people plan not to ruin their life. Most of us are passive and wait for life to come to us. We think about changing, talk about changing, but rarely ever change. It’s because we allow the urgent to drive our immediate schedule. It’s difficult to work on our own lives when there are always so many fires to put out. I’m convinced this is one of the main reasons we drift so far from God. We don’t mean to drift, but we aren’t doing anything to intentionally help us stay on course.
Pastors and church leaders are human. We struggle, have blind spots, and are prone to wander just like everyone else. At the same time we are called to a higher standard. It’s worth it to do the hard work. You may not want to, but take some time to honestly answer the following questions. Your ministry and life is too important to leave it up to chance.
3 Questions To Assess Your Spiritual Health
- Are you bored? Nothing good comes out of boredom. NOTHING! As humans we are wired for comfort. Once we find comfort we often get bored. According to psychologist Barry Michaels, “Merely escaping pain isn’t enough. We insist that the pain be replaced with pleasure. We do this with an endless array of addictive activities. Examples include internet surfing, drugs, alcohol, pornography, the aptly named ‘comfort food.’ Even gambling and shopping are pleasures of sort. All these behaviors are widespread-our entire culture is looking for a Comfort Zone.” Translation, when you are in your comfort zone your body naturally looks for stimulation. This is why we are tempted to snack late at night while watching TV. It’s not that we are hungry, it’s that we are bored. Are you bored spiritually? Are you bored with life? If so you are on dangerous ground.
- Is there anything in your life that if it became public would impact your ability to pastor your church? For example if your web browser was released to the public tomorrow would you still have a job? If your anger were caught on camera and displayed to the church would you still have a job? As pastors it’s easy to ignore secret issues because no one is checking in on us. Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. As we have found out time and time again, it doesn’t matter the size of your church, secrets sins find you out. I know it’s scary to deal with your own demons. As Pastor Chris Sonksen often says, “You either pay now or you pay later, but you will pay more if you pay later.” In other words it’s hard work to deal with our demons, but the cost of dealing with it on our terms is way less then if they become public and we are forced to deal with them.
- What do the people closest to you think about you when you enter the room? A vital relationship with Jesus always leads us to loving God and loving others. It doesn’t mean we will agree with everyone. It also doesn’t mean that we live in utopia with rainbows and unicorns. We have to have difficult conversations, speak the truth is love, and challenge the status quo. At the same time we should show so much care and support for those closest to us that even when we disagree we are still friends. According to Jesus how we treat those that are least important is ultimately a reflection of our relationship with Him. Work hard at making sure you are the same person on the stage as in private. If you don’t know what the people closest to you think about you when you enter the room, ask. Find someone you trust and know will be honest with you and ask for feedback. If you don’t like what you hear then you have your starting point.
Often in the church world we elevate dynamic personalities, and leaders who can grow churches. At ChurchBOOM we want to help you grow your church, but not at the expense of your soul. We are hear to help you. If you do not have a community of pastors that you can be honest with, get coaching, and feel safe with consider joining us. We care about the Church and want to help pastors become everything God intends for them to be. We believe we are better together. To check out our partnerships or to become a ChurchBOOM plus member click here.