The other day a man expressed to me that I must have my hands full as a District Superintendent. He had heard a couple of pastoral burnout and failure statistics that left him incredulous. He asked me if the stats were indeed true (sadly, they were) and then asked me what I do to address these issues as a DS.
I informed him that my top priority as a DS is to make sure the pastors and leaders of our district know we are here to care for them. Among other things, the district offers pastoral cluster meetings, help from professional pastoral counselors and coaching as ways to aid with the personal health of our leaders.
“Of course,” I said, “we can offer all of this stuff, and more, but just like a pastor with a congregation, I can only make the offer and encourage participation. I can’t make anyone participate and benefit.”
The load of being a spiritual leader can get really heavy. But the burden of leadership surely shouldn’t crush our spiritual vitality. If the role is crushing our joy and our energy, we need to step back and remember that we aren’t called to be little saviors, just helpers.
Rule number one in Christian leadership is that Christ alone can save. We need to remember and repeat daily the words of John the Baptist, “I am not the Christ.” Unless we get this right, we fail.
My advice? Take care of your self and don’t be a statistic.
Preach the Gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith in Christ alone to yourself. Remember, He alone is God and He alone can save.
Give thanks for the gift of freedom. If you’re American, or live here, remember the high price people have paid and continue to pay for your freedom. And while you’re at it, give thanks for the spiritual freedom you have because of Jesus.
Rest in Jesus. Only God can work 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Everyone needs a Sabbath, including you. Seize the day!
Be genuinely present with the people you love.
Celebrate your call to freedom (Galatians 5:13).
Praying for your joy!