Having been in church planting for 28 years I have not only shot myself in the foot numerous times, but also watched other perfectly competent leaders do the same. While I don’t know who came up with the title for today’s blog, I do know that it is true.
Here are four ways we can lead ourselves.
- Lead yourself in the ways of God. As one recent church planting leader said, “If I don’t have my relationship with God right, nothing else will be right.” You would think that we would learn this lesson early on, but the number of 50 year old pastors who are still struggling with this leads me to conclude that it is a lifelong battle to be fought.
- Make a leadership choice to connect more fully to Jesus today.
- Lead yourself in overcoming fears. When we get scared we have three typical responses—Fight, flight or freeze. It takes careful leadership to have a thoughtful, prayerful response to a frightening set of circumstances. Saying, “I will walk by faith in my God in this instance” requires a leadership choice.
- Make a leadership choice to confront that situation that is causing your fear this week.
- Lead yourself in breaking new ground. The default mode of human nature is to walk by sight- to return to the safe place. But just like the church that says, “We’ve never done it that way before” so a leader who always returns to what has worked in the past without considering the future has limited the reach of his leadership.
- Make a leadership choice to try one new thing in the next thirty days.
- Lead yourself into replenishment. Often as leaders we think that green pastures and still waters are for those we preach to, but they will never make it there if we don’t model what that looks like. If the leader sets the standard of workaholism—read skips her day off, the all who follow or report to that leader will do the same. Taking a Sabbath day, affirms our belief that God is in control of our church plant and that He is Lord.
- Make a leadership choice to take care of yourself better (rest, exercise, or vacation) this year.
Your spiritual, mental and physical health as a leader will determine your effectiveness. The better you lead yourself the more effective you will be in leading others God has placed in your sphere of influence. Go ahead, lead! Lead yourself, lead your family, lead your church plant. Lead, because God cares what you do.