One of my most embarrassing moments in college came when I was cruising slowly past the schools crowded plaza with my window rolled down, arm casually hanging out, radio playing just loud enough to send the message that I was cool, when suddenly I ran out of gas. There were loud bursts of laughter as traffic was totally blocked and a couple of the guys came down and pretended to hand crank my car before they finally mercifully pushed me out of the way.
Many leaders run dangerously close to empty in their emotional and spiritual lives and risk embarrassment of foolish decisions or costly mistakes. In yesterdays post I shared three of the six major energy drainers for leaders: Unresolved Conflict, Indecisiveness and financial instability.
Here are the final three.
- Family disharmony – Feelings of guilt from not giving your family the time they deserve can serve as a subtle energy drainer. Each time you make an excuse, miss a ballgame or come home later than promised you get another knot of guilt in your gut. Leaders can become very skilled at ignoring this important area telling themselves they are doing “important” work. So get ahead of your busyness and schedule at least one day off a week and regular vacations. Then practice saying “no” to some things other than your family. 1 Timothy 3:4-5
- Excessive Output– Some leaders are running on empty simply because they give, give and give. They spend their week teaching, leading meetings, coaching and serving. There’s a lot going out but nothing coming in. It doesn’t take long to drain your reserves when you are in constant output mode. Be careful because a shallow heart will lead to a shallow ministry. Just as you eat regularly scheduled meals throughout the day, you need to have regularly scheduled mental and spiritual times of intake as well. John 15:4-5
- Poor Physical Health – For some odd reason pastors seem to be really good at nurturing their spiritual health but totally neglect their physical health. Poor physical health leads to low emotional energy and loss of focus. If you’re showing signs of fatigue beware that you’re more susceptible to mediocrity as well as temptation. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What are other energy drainers you’ve observed?