This week I had lunch with one of our up and coming leaders and we chatted at length about life and leadership. For nearly 2 hours we explored the hot topics of life and ministry and I have to say I loved every moment of it! It’s funny how God works because as we chatted I felt like I was refreshed and learnt a stack through the conversation. Here are the three big take-aways:
1. Grow into the calling God has for your life
As emerging leaders we just don’t simply arrive – we are constantly growing in capacity and often learning through the pain of making mistakes. God knows this and he wants to keep growing us and enlarging our capacity – so growing into our calling, in the same way that many of us have grown into adulthood, is essential. Cut yourself some slack, create a grace space for growth and make sure you have the right people walking alongside you to help keep you focussed and on track.
2. Develop of sustainable work-life rhythm with margin
Work-life balance is dead. If you are trying to balance your life like trying to balance weights on scales, you will never get it right. Two key words for me are rhythm and margin – there is a whole blog post in this so I will come back to it in depth at another time. But basically, create a sustainable rhythm – when you work hard make sure you rest hard as well, understand the seasons of life and don’t always have the throttle on full. Also create margin in your day and don’t always have meetings back to back. In my diary I usually allow 1 ½ hours for a 1 hour meeting, just giving a small margin if the meeting goes over time or some extra time to prepare for my next meeting. Obviously there are days and seasons this is hard, but let it be your aspiration.
3. Value theological training
If you desire to be in ministry long term, don’t ignore theological training and ongoing spiritual formation. Make sure you choose the right college (and some research is needed here) and take your call seriously by gaining some extra training. I think it’s not enough to learn from your Pastor, you need a broader experience and on that is robust enough to grow and shake your faith and for you to own some real truths in your life. Believe me, this will help you so much in growing into your calling as well. What’s the worst that will come of it – if you don’t move forward in ministry you simply become the most qualified life group leader going round!!
What life or ministry truths have you learnt from a recent lunch experience?
This blog is written by Mike Stevens and you can read more from Mike on his Youth Ministry Leadership website. Thanks Mike!