Sustaining the Leader
DOBSON INTERVIEW NOTE: Last week three of us represented the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries to tape two radio interviews with Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family. When they set the air dates, I’ll let you know.
What is lost when a leader burns out? A lot… which is why before sustaining momentum for our ministries, we must first sustain ourselves. Here are three suggestions to help.
OVERFLOW: First, only minister out of the overflow. Don’t try to give away what you don’t have. Many leaders don’t have enough Jesus for themselves, much less any left to give away to others. How do we know when we’re not in the overflow? If we are cranky, apathetic, or overwhelmed-to name a few. What should we do if we’re ministering out of the reserves? Stop and nurture our own souls. How do we get back in the overflow? Be a “daily disciple” who reads the Scriptures, prays, worships, and meditates on the greatness and goodness of God.
EXPECTATIONS: Second, expect opposition-it’s biblically normative. Since all disappointment results from unmet expectations, calibrate you expectations to the Bible. Expect the principle of the parable of the sower to chip away at your progress. This is a war we are going to win, but it’s going to take a long time, and every day is a spiritual battle. It’s not easy, setbacks are normal and, if we don’t accept this, we will burnout from a broken heart.
LONG TERM VIEW: Third, it takes a long time to make a disciple. The mission of making disciples has largely fallen into disuse in our generation. Fortunately, there’s evidence that discipleship is making a comeback, but we all need to remember that it takes a long time. Suppose a man spends 35 or 40 years living out of a secular world view, then becomes a Christian. Is it not reasonable to think he will need many years to recalibrate his worldview?
If we want to build sustainable ministries, we must first sustain ourselves. I pray you will live out of the overflow of your relationship with Jesus, set realistic expectations, and take a long term view.
Together in the battle for men’s souls,