Four Critical Questions Church Leaders Need to Ask Themselves if they Expect to Last
With whom am I spending time? I have to monitor just how much time I spend with negative, critical people. Too much time spent with others who are constantly griping and complaining will sure enough drain me of energy. I have a friend who described one preacher as so negative that his sermons on grace had a negative edge. Others seem to be constantly critiquing everyone else and finding them lacking. I want to love these people but I do choose how much time to spend with them.
What about you? How much time are you spending with people who are negative and bitter people?
What am I putting into my mind? On a typical day, I talk with people (email, phone call, personal conversation) about matters that are very serious. Someone has learned that they have cancer. Someone else is deeply concerned about personal financial debt. Still another is wrestling with marriage issues. At the end of the day, it is easy to go home and immerse myself in the national news, which much of the time is going to be very negative.
As a result, I have to be very intentional about what I put into my mind. I can’t think about sad and tragic situations all of the time. Often I make sure I watch something funny on television. I might watch a good ball game. I might read a biography, especially one that is not filled with tragedy. What I put into my mind really does matter.
What about you? What do you intentionally put into your mind? What adjustments do you need to make?
Who am I resenting? Unresolved conflict and resentments can be such energy drainers! It is amazing how much energy I can spend thinking about a person I am frustrated or angry with. Occasionally I need to ask myself, “How much time do I spend thinking about old resentments or things that long ago should have been forgiven?”
Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about an unresolved conflict?
When do I re-create my body? I generally work out at the gym four times a week. My motivation for doing this is not my weight nor is it because I am a health nut. My motivation is rooted in the way it makes me feel when I am regularly working out versus how I feel when I am not. If I am not getting some kind of exercise, not only do I feel sluggish, but I tend to have less energy and motivation, particularly in the afternoons.
Some ministers get their emotional strokes by talking about how hard they work. They go on and on about what everyone has asked them to do and how busy they are. There are ministers who do not even take a day off. Not taking time to rest, to get away, and to recharge will eventually catch up with a person.
Do you find the space in your life to re-create your body?