Reading a post by Dr. Steve Brown at SharpeningLeaders.Com on “balance” a while back prompted me to consider (again) the topic myself. It’s been a while. Having been a senior leader for many years, of course, the topic has come up from time to time, and I consider myself to be 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. Steve 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 as a corporate professional with a family and a newfound faith in Jesus and a passion for the local church. Now, as an executive pastor with lots of leadership responsibility and an even larger family (lots of grandkids!), and a local church passion hotter than ever, I still find the issue of balance to be a challenge.
Dr. Steve’s second reason he’s concluded that the problem isn’t him is comforting to me, though. 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, but as leaders, we must still concern ourselves with our own spiritual life, family responsibilities, and career … making the issue of balance still exactly that, an “issue.” I think Dr. Steve’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 are 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 a bunch of “rules” that you will only go back on later, losing credibility. Model it, talk about it from time to time, and most of all, watch out for problems. When you spot one, dive in and help.
There you have it.
Great post, Dr. Steve! Read it HERE.