Tag Archive - stress

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Why Stress can be a Church Leaders Best Friend

I came home the other day and my kids had a bowl of flour and a bag of balloons setting out on the kitchen counter. When I asked them what they were doing, they said they were, “making stress balls.” One of the kids had seen a stress ball that a teacher had at school and thought it would be cool to make their own. I get the teacher needing a stress ball…and I was thinking I might need one with the mess they were making…but kids? What do kids need with a stress ball?!?!?

While most people are trying to minimize or avoid stress in their lives, good leaders know that stress can actually be a good thing.

Bad Stress

I’m pretty sure that every reader inherently understands how stress can bring out the worst in us. It can influence to people make awful decisions, bring out unhealthy behaviors and turn good leaders into control freaks and micromanagers. There’s a lot of reasons people experience stress. They can be in a situation that is requiring either more of them than they have to give or less of them than they have to give. Both lead to stress and potentially poor behaviors.

Good Stress

Stress can also be a gift and has the potential to bring out the best in us. When the right amount, of the right kind of stress, is applied in the right way it can bring great focus. It can push us to make decisions we’ve been putting off. It can push you to come up with new solutions. It can make your strengths come alive in you and rise up to meet the stress and lead through it.


Posted in Leadership

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What to do when you find yourself Doing Everything

Have you ever felt like you were working as hard as you possibly could and still at the end of the day were left with a pile of work that didn’t get done? Ever feel like everyone was coming to you for you to weigh in on every decision that needed to be made? Ever feel like what you thought was just going to be a busy season has turned into a normal way of work?

Pain points like this can be a gift because pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs to change. The good news is things can change. When you experience this kind of pain it’s time to ask yourself the following questions:

Have I Hit a Capacity Lid?

The first question to ask is, “What am I doing that is contributing to this?” Great leaders always start with themselves, not others. They take personal ownership for where they are and how they got there. Is there a new skill you need to learn or a new approach you need to take? Do you need to increase your capacity and break through that lid?

What Needs to Change?

Do you need to learn to delegate more tasks to others? Do you need to empower others to make decisions and build strategies that get the team to designed outcomes? Are you doing too much as a high level generalist and it’s time to narrow your focus and allow other specialists to do a better job at what you were doing an okay job at? In other words, often times this kind of ongoing experience can be an indicator that it’s time for a growing church to restructure.

What Does the Church Need from Me?

Where do you bring the most value to the church? Where do your gifts, abilities, and experiences advance the vision the most? Are you contributing greatly in that area? The thing that most people don’t realize is that as the church grows the church actually needs something different from its leaders along the way, not all that dissimilar to parenting.

What Do I Want to Do?

Of all the things you find yourself doing right now, what do you want to keep doing? What would you give away to others to do if you could? Is what you’re doing right now moving you closer to the vision or further away? And do you want to go where that vision is leading you?


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

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Heading towards burnout Part-2

This post is part-2 of a conversation that we began together last week. It would be worth checking out part-1 of this post to catch up. So let’s go ahead and dive back into how you can know you’re heading towards burnout.

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

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Heading towards burnout Part-1

Take a moment to do a quick internet search on “pastor burnout” and the results might shock you. You’ll find pages and pages of articles, statistics, and stories of literally hundreds of men leaving the ministry every single day. Just take a quick look below:

CNNMoney.com posted an article listing 15 “Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly.” Included in this list are #5 “Music Ministry Director” and #10 “Minister.”

Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.

Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

If you ask me, all of this sounds like a far cry from the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 where he said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” So how do you know if you’re headed towards burnout? Below are a few indicators that might be worth taking a look at.

Continue Reading…


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation