How are you?
Need a break?
What level is your “leadership battery” at?
- Fully charged.
- Good, but drained.
- Weak, probably need a jump start.
- Very little left; may need a new battery.
Recharging your battery this summer seems like a new opportunity.
So much has changed over the past couple years or so, and you have absorbed the pressure and stress that comes with the resulting impacts. Are you handling it well?
From many conversations with church leaders, it’s obvious there is great hope, enthusiasm, and positive anticipation about the future, but equally, there are still lingering questions, some fatigue, and discouragement is not uncommon.
It’s important to lean into what refreshes you, brings you life, and refuels you so you can keep going and experience both outward progress and inward joy in your ministry.
Are you intentionally recharging at a soul level?
The church doesn’t stop during the summer, but it’s a good time to lean into the different life rhythm it carries, to catch your breath and recharge your leadership battery.
A recharge for you is so important because the church never stops.
This isn’t a complaint; lots of people work hard inside challenging careers, but it’s an acknowledgment of the need to refuel and recharge.
It’s an acknowledgment of the unique weight of serving people on a spiritual level.
Here are 7 practical ideas that will help you recharge at a soul level.
1) Change of Pace
Recharging your leadership battery and renewing your soul is rarely about doing nothing; it’s about a change of pace.
Assuming you don’t take more than two or three weeks of vacation, you still work during the summer. So, what does a change of pace look like? There are lots of possibilities.
For example, if you are with people all the time, you could dive into some deep thought work of R&D to improve a ministry, write, or prepare to launch something new.
If you typically run at a very fast pace, slow down for a couple of weeks. Take your mornings for more thoughtful work.
2) Gain Closure
It’s surprising how much is gained even at a soul level from closure.
So, many leaders live with a nagging, peace-stealing, low-grade anxiety from things as simple as unfinished projects, hard conversations that have never happened and being honest about what they’re not going to do.
Take action and gain closure.
About projects you have never finished, finish them, or get honest about the fact that you are not going to do it. Take it off your list. Literally, delete all of it. Be done. Move on. Closure is like oxygen to your soul.
The same is true with your relationships. Don’t leave the hard stuff dangling, have the difficult conversations and bring fresh definition to the relationship.
Recharging, gaining emotional margin, and breathing deeper often comes from uncluttering your life.
Since I’ve used work-related illustrations for the first two ideas, let’s take this one home.
Your closet, garage, basement, or desk probably has stuff in it that you’ll never use again. It’s amazing what accumulates.
Clutter robs your soul of peace. It’s not just about certain personalities; it impacts everyone but just to differing levels for each individual. For some, it’s a nagging distraction; for others, it’s a powerful thief of peace and productivity.
The surprising thing is how much you can do about it in one afternoon.
Let’s go deeper, and with something not so easy.
Unclutter your thought life.
It’s about focused thinking, and that can be very challenging considering your long to-do list and the bombardment from social media along with your favorite websites.
But here’s the truth of the matter.
Margin, peace, joy, and productivity are gained by thinking deeper about fewer things rather than thinking shallow about many things.
4) A Personal Retreat
Quiet is good for your soul.
A personal retreat is a fantastic way to recharge your leadership battery and renew your soul.
It can be as simple as one day in an environment you love, like the mountains or the beach, or a night or two away.
The purpose is to get extended time in prayer, scripture, meditation.
Take time to write down honest thoughts about your relationship with God and where you are at in your life.
Then answer the question, is that different than where you want it to be?
Perhaps my new book Leadership Alone Isn’t Enough: 40 Devotions to Strengthen Your Soul would be helpful to you. (A devotional written to leaders.)
5) A little splurge – something fun
It’s surprising how many leaders have trouble answering what they do for fun.
There’s another group of leaders who know exactly what they love to do for fun but don’t do often enough.
I fall into the second group.
Which group do you fall into?
Let me be specific. Something that doesn’t have eternal consequences connected to it! 😀 It’s just fun, and you would really enjoy it.
It might be simple and only need a few hours or maybe require a couple of days away.
It might just be the thing you talk about most when summer is over.
6) Trying Something New
Most of us are creatures of habit. That’s not a bad thing. We have our favorite music, restaurants, authors, and the list goes on.
Why not read a book from an author you’ve never heard of on a subject you know nothing about but find it interesting?!
Maybe try a restaurant you’ve never been to before and order something different from the menu.
Trying something new and different taps into new parts of your brain and brings new life and energy to you. When is the last time you tried something new?
7) Time Away With Family
Even just the sound of the word is refreshing and recharging!
Yup, it’s a scramble to make all the plans and arrangements, and you might work a ton of hours the week before you leave, but you know it’s worth it.
This idea is last on the list because you probably are taking a vacation, not because it’s unimportant.
If a vacation is not possible for you this summer or even this year, what could you and your family do to create a “staycation” that is fun and makes great memories?
When you take a vacation, the purpose is not to exhaust yourself and come home needing a vacation. Instead, it’s to enjoy your family, recharge your battery, and make some wonderful memories.
I hope this list is helpful to you!!