I’m super excited about this series, I think it’s going to challenge many Pastors & Leaders to examine areas of their lives they thought had nothing to do with the ministry. So I challenge you, commit to the 8 week series – I’m sure you’ll benefit greatly from the insights. So here is week one.
The room was full of energy, it had been awhile since many of these pastors had seen each other.
Two of them embrace; one a featured speaker for the conference and the other the host of the conference. The featured speaker says to the host, “You’ve been robbing the sheep.” The room once full of energy, is now at a hush. Everyone is waiting for a response. The host was too shocked to be offended.
The featured speaker, says it again – “you’ve been robbing the sheep.” He pats the host on his stomach, and he says, “you’ve got to take better care of yourself. Your robbing the sheep of your leadership.”
Just recently I was talking with a friend who said to me, “I’ve got too much going in ministry to be wasting time sick because I didn’t eat right.” I’ve never thought about it like that. I’ve always had to watch my diet because of liver issues, but ministry and my health never had a direct connection.
Lately, it’s become something real to me – if I as a Shepherd do not take better care of myself, the ones that feel the impact of it are the congregants, the sheep. Yes, my family will feel it, I will feel it, but I’ve never thought about how my health can impact my ministry. So I’ve made some adjustments in the following area:
1. Medical: I visit a nutrition specialist monthly. She helps me with my diet. My diet is not just about loosing weight but about managing energy levels. She assigns me supplements to ensure that I’m not tired. I’ve learned how what I eat greatly impacts my ability to function properly. For example, bread makes me tired, and pistachio’s have a negative impact on my stomach. But when I eat right, my mind is clear, my outlook is optimistic and most importantly I have the energy to carry out the tasks.
2. Rest: For me rest is about recharging. When I’m overly tired mentally, physically, or spiritually – I tend to be overly cranky, and pessimistic. But when I’m recharged, I’m ready to believe God for anything. The important question is, how do we get rest. Rest does come from going to sleep early, ensuring you get at least 8 hours of sleep and not going to sleep any later then 11 P.M. Rest is also about activities that recharge. For example I took my two year old to the children’s museum. I had so much fun with him that it was like a breath of fresh air.
Also, rest is not just absence from work. It’s about doing the right things, so that you’re not always overwhelmed. Read this blog I posted that talks a bit about how to do more with less. Click here!!!
3. Exercise: Exercise is an outlet for me. Yes, there are a ton of benefits for exercising. But for me,d the most important is that it’s an outlet for my stress. The physical activity for some reason helps me relax. When I’m done exercising, I leave feeling more energized. So maybe, it’s not exercise for everyone but it’s important to find an activity that helps you release stress.
These are my three areas that I have to guard carefully. The reason is simply that when I’m eating right, getting enough rest, and exercising consistently I am in place where I have clarity of mind and peace of soul. My patience levels are so much higher when I’m in a good place that I lead well. My prayer life is so much more vibrant when I’m not exhausted. It just feels like I position myself for hearing from God.
When I’m not doing all 3, leadership becomes challenging because I find that I’m leading out of my own strength and my own strength is limited.
So I gave you the three adjustments I made, what adjustments are you making with the goal of feeling better today? Leave a comment below.