3 Practices for Self-Care as a Leader
If you listen to the heartbeat of people who are passionate about leadership, you’ll hear a common thread throughout their stories.
Oftentimes, those who frequently think about leadership do so due to being hurt in the past from poor leadership. They were burned or disappointed by someone they looked up to and it stirred within them a desire to be better for the people around them. Pain was a catalyst for change. This can’t be said for all pain and all people, but it is the hope.
A better hope is to be inspired by steadfast, mission-minded, high character leaders. To have leaders in the Church we want to imitate because they are imitating Jesus.
The Church is in a dire season for nurturing and cultivating our leadership health. Stories are followed by more stories of leaders falling short of their standards for themselves, their families, and their team...and we’re seeing the effects of it. Too many people are in pain from the ripple effects of failing leaders. Our recent leadership blunders call for a time to evaluate where we’re going wrong and what we can do about it.
Here are a few practices I believe every leader can implement now to start giving the life their team deserves:
Reclaim the Sabbath
“How are you?”
“Busy, you know how it is.”
Busy has become the leader’s badge of honor. We can fall for the lie that if we could only produce more, then we could achieve more, and then we could be more. But our busyness is draining our river of life. Our rhythms are out of wack and we know it, but we are too terrified to slow down and practice solitude and silence.
We need to make a practice of remembering that the Sabbath was created for us, and not us for the Sabbath. I say practice because many of us have become so busy that we will feel like beginners when it comes to being still and enjoying the pure presence of God. You may not be great at ceasing productivity, but if you want to make the most of your influence then you need to invest in yourself and rest for the sake of those around you.
Take a day to quit running on the wheel of achievement, turn the noise down, think deep thoughts, eat good food, and rest in the company of God and all the loved ones He has given you.
Slow down to be known, it takes a village to raise a leader, and it takes a village to sustain one. Build in a consistent time with people who have earned the right to hear your story. And be vulnerable with them. Share sincere struggles with people who you have high relational equity with.
Comparison has never been more available than it is now with social media showing everyone’s accomplishments, travels, and highlight reels on display. It’s easy to try and be someone else. We adopt practices, but not identity. We need to know ourselves more than anyone else. Take a social media fast, unfollow, or block if you need to. Adopt practices that strengthen your identity, not conform it.
Poor leadership is felt by many, not few. Your leadership is bigger than growing your name, platform, or agenda. Take time to write down actual names of people impacted by your influence, and prioritize making sure you don't’ fall into poor church leadership.