What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone say, “Summer in Houston”? Summer for our churches can mean all kinds of things: mission trips, church camps, VBS, just to name a few. It can also mean different routines or a degree of informality—maybe even preaching in shorts! Whatever your summer may look like, here are a few events and considerations to keep in mind as we head into this season.
Although it's long passed, I want to share with you a practice my husband and I use on Good Friday to deepen our observance of the day. We call it “Go Silent; Go Dark.” It is especially meaningful on the day that we remember the crucifixion of Christ, but it is also a practice that can be implemented at any time of the year to slow your life down, heighten your focus on spiritual things, and increase your openness to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit.
This season of my life has been particularly straining. All good things, but good things still take their emotional toll. Ministry requires pastors who truly love their congregation, feel what they feel, hurt when they hurt, and grow weary when they grow weary.
My point here is not to commiserate. The spiritual oversight of souls is tough work, and those of us in ministry aspire to that work. Instead, I simply want to issue a plea: Pastor, seek respite. Use the resources available to you for the good of your ministry, your family, and your soul.
Like the hyperdrive on Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon, there are leaders who propel their churches forward at breakneck rates, helping them journey great distances and achieve impressive results. In the leader’s mind, the idea of being a “visionary” excuses their obsession with results and the tunnel-vision that accompanies their success. When this occurs, a hyper-driven leader creates vision-weary people and may be authoritarian, autonomous, and even downright mean.
Why would otherwise great leaders act in such destructive ways?