Anytime we carry the responsibility of leadership — whether we’re rallying a handful of individuals or caring for a congregation — we become sensitive to the needs of those we’re leading. As a good leader, the investment we make in the lives of those we lead is great. Life change in the people we lead is why we do what we do.
But, as a leader, we must also remain mindful of the investment we are making in our personal care.
When we focus on those we’re serving, we often forget to care for our health. We need to remind ourselves that God’s primary mandate on our life — to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength — is impossible if we have no heart, soul, mind and strength to give!
Here are four areas to assess our personal health as often as we can:
Soul Care: Am I feeding my soul?
This is priority one. Jesus invites us to find our rest in Him and to place every burden at His feet. (See Matthew 11:28.) He calls us to remain fully connected to Him, because apart from Him, we really can’t do anything that bears great fruit.
Jesus says: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
We also need to remember to take time in prayer daily. Read His word and let it seep into your heart. Write down what God’s teaching you as you spend time with Him.
Creative Inspiration: What is inspiring me?
As someone whose creative output is a part of my everyday work, it’s easy to overlook the importance of creative input. Like a good fire, your imagination needs high-quality kindling to keep burning. Fuel for creativity could look like TED Talks, podcasts, art museums, or even new playlists on Spotify.
Physical Health: How am I caring for my body?
The Bible calls our body a temple where God’s Spirit dwells. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.) If we want God to do something great with our life, we have to take his command to “honor God with my body” seriously. We need to ask ourselves:
* How’s my diet?
* How’s my exercise?
* How’s my rest?
Enriching Relationships: Who is filling my tank?
We can find gold in time spent with a mentor who asks all the right questions we need to be asking ourselves. We can find direction from an elder whose experiences can help us try things differently or avoid pitfalls. We can find joy from the odd soul who brings out the funny and spontaneous side of life. We need to find these people and keep them nearby.
When we take care of ourselves, the benefits are far-reaching. We will be able to offer the best we have to give to our family, the people we lead, and our church.
-- Socrates Perez