Take a minute to think about the mission of your ministry. You can most likely tell me in less than a minute what your mission is and what your vision is. It’s important to you. It’s why you do everything that you do.
Now take a minute to think about the people around you. Your staff, your volunteers, and your leaders. What do their daily interactions show you? Are they tired? Burned out? Stressed? Exhausted? Can you remember the last time they took some time off?
Now ask those same questions of yourself. Do you feel any of those feelings? When was the last time that you had some time off? How have you been creating balance in your life? Have you set clear boundaries?
These can be tough questions to ask about the people around us and ourselves. Because sometimes ministry can seem like a never-ending job. If we are not careful, we can easily become burned out, stressed, exhausted, and tired. And when we feel all of those things, we do not lead people toward our mission. We can actually get in the way of it!
Your mission is important. You are working to change lives and make a difference. So, why are we not always the greatest at realizing our mission begins with us? It truly does. How we lead impacts everyone else that we lead. How we create balance and prioritize health and rest is an example to everyone around us. And let’s face it. Sometimes those of us in ministry are the worst at this!
We have good intentions. We want to make an impact and we want to do everything we can to help others. But unfortunately, it often comes at the price of our own health and wellness. How many times do we sacrifice our own health in order to help those we are serving? The answer is usually more times than we want to admit.
Our mission begins with us. The culture we create, and the priorities we reflect will be noticed and followed. If you are great at living in a healthy way, it will be noticed by those around you. If you are really good at setting boundaries and being able to take time away, it will make it much easier for you to insist on these practices with your staff.
Whether you explicitly say it or not, your team and volunteers are watching you. We all know that someone who says, “Do as I say, and not as I do,” isn’t able to lead any of us well.
So, how are you leading? From a healthy place or a burned out place? Do you make it a priority to take time away? Do you protect your time with your family by not answering emails and texts at all hours of the night and day? Do you make rest a part of your culture? Do you enforce it with your staff?
We often search for the perfect training or leadership book that will help our teams lead better and incorporate healthy routines into their days. But often the best and more lasting example has to come from you. Not only will it change how you lead and do your job, it will also help your team know that you care about their health and wellness, too. Learning to create healthy rhythms should be an important part of your culture. If it’s not, spend some time thinking about how you can incorporate better rhythms into your own life first.
What healthy rhythms have you incorporated into your organization?