Church Leaders and "Balance"Nov 14, 2023
How Should Church Leaders View the Issue of Balance?
Some years ago, I read a post by Dr. Steve Brown at ArrowLeadership.org on "balance" which prompted me to consider (again) the topic myself. It's been a while. Having been a senior leader for many years, the topic has come up from time to time, and I consider myself somewhat responsible for helping staff, lay leaders, etc., wrestle with and otherwise do their best to maintain balance in their lives.
In his post, Goodbye Balance ... Dr. Brown says:
I have read extensively about balance, relentlessly pursued balance and I have encouraged others to find balance. But, I’ve found that balance is ever elusive. I’ve doubled down, tried to juggle life more efficiently and mustered more discipline – only to fall short again and again.
Believe me ... I get what he's saying. This has been an issue I've wrestled with many times, especially when I was as a corporate professional with a family, a newfound faith in Jesus, and a passion for the local church. When I served as an executive pastor with lots of leadership responsibility, an even larger family (lots of grandkids!), and an ever hotter passion for the local church, I continued to find the balance issue challenging.
The second reason Dr. Brown concluded is that the problem isn't him. That's comforting to me. He writes:
I’m having some significant doubts that balance is even biblical. When I look at the life of Christ, I don’t see him frantically juggling his commitments to achieve balance. He doesn’t seem to pursue balance in order to achieve a tranquil feeling of accomplishment or to connect more deeply with God.
Instead, Jesus lived out a radical life of submission, surrender and abandon to the will of the Father. He also lived in constant communion with Father and Spirit – even in, especially in, the busyness and messiness of his daily life and leadership. Jesus was “all in” and “connected” all the time and he called his followers to be the same.
So, my concern about balance over the years shouldn't have been a concern at all. Right? It's not biblical. Perhaps, as leaders, we must still concern ourselves with our spiritual life, family responsibilities, and career ... making an issue of balance is still exactly that, an "issue." I think Dr. Brown's point, though, is pretty much to view the issue with a bit of "balance."
Don't beat yourself up over it. Remember that your passion for reaching the lost and your desire to see the local church succeed is a very good thing. The fact that it has you out of bed early in the morning (maybe too early) and looking at e-mail, social media, texts, etc., well into the evening is only natural. When you're passionate about something and driven to succeed, you will tend to spend much of your time on it. So, there you are ... struggling with balance.
Here's what I challenge you as a church leader to keep in mind. As it applies to you and how you lead and coach your staff, be very mindful of the issue and keep your eyes open for trouble. As a leader, it's your responsibility to keep yourself healthy and do your best to see to the "health" of those whom you serve. When you spot trouble, deal with it.
Don't go overboard and make some "rules" that you will only go back on later, losing credibility. Model it, talk about it occasionally, and watch out for problems. When you spot one, dive in and help.
There you have it.
Great post, Dr. Brown! Read it HERE.