Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

As leaders, we have a finite amount of energy.

We either use that energy wisely or waste it. And one thing for sure, we never get it back.

Each day presents us with 24 hours in which our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional capacity is packaged. That capacity is dispersed through our God-given human energy. At the end of each day, our batteries need to be recharged.

There are some responsibilities you carry as a leader that tend to zap and drain your energy more than others. Things like a confrontational conversation that carries emotional intensity, or working on complex details of your church budget.  But you must still do them anyway.

There are other things we do as leaders that consume and deplete our energy that we don’t have to do, and in fact, should stop doing.

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Maybe you can pray, but it feels like you can’t.

This is not an uncommon experience for Christian leaders.

Do any of these emotions sound familiar?

  • Overwhelmed
  • Discouraged
  • Numb
  • Exhausted
  • Defeated
  • Fill in the blank

Ever been there?

Take heart, you are not alone with any of these feelings.

It may be a personal family difficulty, a health issue, a tough staffing situation, a financial pressure, or a board member turns on you.

Anyone of these, especially for a short time is doable. It’s when several begin to pile up and the length of time is extended. That’s when it can all just seem like too much.

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I often meet young leaders who aspire to, in their words, “be in charge.” That’s a normal and healthy desire. I get it, I mean, who wouldn’t rather call the shots if that’s an option, right?!

Well, as you might imagine, there is a little more to the idea of being “in charge.” And my heart and hope is that’s how this post might be helpful.

There is an often-quoted and significant misconception about leadership, and it is that the higher you rise in the organization, the more you can do what you want.

The perception is that because you are the “senior leader” (or one of them) you, therefore, don’t report to anyone.

In fact, the opposite is true, the higher you rise in any organization, the more you give up your rights and the fewer options you have.

Further, the higher you rise in responsibility and authority, the more people you report to, not less. It may not be a formal reporting, but you answer to them nonetheless.

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The church term “Summer Slump” has been around for decades and I think it’s time to retire the phrase.

The idea of an anticipated attendance “slump” will deliver on its promise every time.

This is more than a numbers thing; it’s about how you perceive your church in the summer.

I certainly acknowledge a change in the rhythms of life during the summer, mostly centered on family. The kids are out of school and vacations kick in!

But there are equally large rhythms that remain steady, like the adults still go to work most of the summer and continue to go about their normal daily routine.

The church is very similar.

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