As most/all of you know, I am a life and leadership coach. One thing I’ve observed over the nine years I have been doing this professionally is that most of the 200 or so men I have coached have a deep sense of being overwhelmed with life and ministry most of the time. It is epidemic--at least in the United States.
The emotional, mental and schedule demands on our time and energies leaves us gasping for breath a good deal of the time. I’m almost afraid to come to the conclusion that this is becoming the new norm for a lot, if not most, of the leaders I know; unfortunately it is the new norm.
Allow me to offer two suggestions for those of you who experience a continual sense of being inundated with expectations, needs, and demands everywhere you turn.
Suggestion #1 Build a great team
Life and ministry wasn’t meant to be a one-person endeavor. Exodus 18 gives us the account of Moses being admonished by his father-in-law to not go it alone but to select others and learn how to build a team. If you go to the “Search Line” on my website and type in the word “Team,” numerous pieces of content will appear regarding selecting people and building a solid team to help you accomplish what God is calling and leading you to do in his strength and for his honor.
Here are some things to be looking for in selecting the right team members:
1. Character - Developing in Christ-like character. Galatians 5:22,23 is a good place to start.
2. Chemistry - Can they get along and work well with others?
3. Competence - Do they have a good level of competence in the areas they are expected to work in?
4. Capacity - Do they have emotional, mental, calendar and relational capacity to grow with the team/organization?
Suggestion #2 Be ruthless with your schedule
Once again, on my website, under the Article tab you will find “Priority Management Tips.”
On two pages is everything I have learned and, by his grace, practice on stewarding my time and energy. You and I need to continually learn to say no and stick with our purpose, vision and gifts and not nickel and dime our time away on what may be good things, but not the best things.
Many of us dream of having more time but know, in reality, we will always and only have 168 hours a week, no more and no less. It’s not a matter of having more time, but of strategically and wisely investing the time we have.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” Ephesians 5:15,16 (ESV)
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
It’s not just a matter of counting our days, but of making our days count.
Ask the Lord to help you to understand what to say yes and no to on any given day. Pray before committing yourself to something. Discuss it with family and friends before saying: Yes, I’ll be there, or you can count on me, or I will help with that, etc. Don’t let other people’s demands drive you to frustration, stress and potential burnout.
Jesus wants you to not merely survive but to thrive and operate at your true capacity and potential. You can do this as you build a great team and are ruthless with how you invest and protect your time.