The days are just packed. You carry big responsibilities and a long list of tasks and projects. How do you deal with the challenges of today which shift with the unannounced visit of an unexpected challenge, mishap, or even good idea. You may feel that you’ve hit your leadership limit and you’ve just gotten started in your work!
Each day, week, and month of this year brings with it unbelievable opportunities for your mission and vision, many of which you couldn’t have planned for and anticipated. As a leader, you serve at the white hot center of how God moves the vision forward…this my friends is a hard JOB, way too much for one person.
1. Remember that we are called to be faithful. The work is big and important, and you are committed to it. But, let’s remember that it is God who is doing the work in the lives of people. He involves you, uses you, and speaks and moves through you. His word is clear, He has prepared good works for you in advance each day. This means that the surprises and challenges, both pleasant and unpleasant, have been filtered through His hand. He knows just what you are able to accomplish each day, no more no less.
2. How you respond to others during challenges, stresses, and mistakes defines how deep your relationships will go. According to Scripture, love never fails. Never. Never. Never. I know this sounds sappy, and I hear the voices in my ear of those who would whisper, “come on, let me get back to my job, this is work, enough with the love stuff.”
I don’t know about you, but I believe we are each bringing way too much of our God given time, talents, skills, experiences, and heart to this to turn away from something that the Bible says will NEVER fail. If it won’t fail, then I want more of that in my life and work. So, when the pressures are mounting, and you feel your grip on the projects slipping, the mistakes are hurting, remember that how we respond to each other and others defines the impact that we are really having. People are going to forget the mistakes or bumps along the way. They won’t forget how you made them feel.
3. You must remember to apply the discipline of adding new fuel, skills, and systems to your life. Are you growing in your self-organization, email skills, planning, time management, and self-leadership? I challenge you to refuse absolutely to allow yourself to be a lid on what God might enable you to do next. We are cautioned that we can “quench the Spirit” in our lives. I think that one of the ways I can “quench the Spirit” is being unwilling to grow, change, and get better in the stuff of “self-leadership” that can help me blow the lid off my current limitations and stresses. I challenge you to outlearn me in this area!
Lastly, we must remember to seek after the discipline and habits of grace in our lives: prayer, study, reflection, rest, worship. An empty pitcher can pour no one else a drink.
This quote from John Piper about Charles Spurgeon really captures what I’m after, and I encourage you to apply it to your life as a leader: “The missionary David Livingstone, asked him [Spurgeon] once, “How do you manage to do two men’s work in a single day? Spurgeon replied, “You have forgotten there are two of us.” “…He meant the presence of Christ’s energizing power that we read about in Colossians 1:29.”