rest-growth-health1

Rest, Growth, Health: Essentials for Ministry Leaders

Leadership / Personal Development //

I love being by the water.  Being in such a tranquil place restores my soul like nothing else.  A few weeks ago, our entire church staff retreated to Pennsylvania together to worship, eat, play and reflect upon three specific themes: Rest, Growth, and Health.

In November, each staff member was provided a workbook that would help us reflect on these areas in our personal lives as well as our roles here at church.  Because our church leadership believes that a healthy staff is imperative to a healthy church culture and a healthy church is vital to our effectiveness in our Kingdom work, they provided questions for personal reflection in these five areas of health: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Financial, Vocational.

The exercises and questions were good for me to think through.  As I did my work, I realized two prevalent themes in three of the five areas of health.  The themes were distractions and excuses.  Although I knew I struggle with these areas, it wasn’t until I saw them written on paper several times that I realized they were a common thread running through many of my shortcomings, both personally and professionally.

Another ‘aha’ moment for me was when I asked the question: When do I feel most alive?  My answers:

  • Getting to dream
  • Working on bigger projects (as part of a team and individually)
  • Working on my own projects where I have creative control
  • Creating things

So, in thinking of terms of Rest, Growth, and Health, what does this look like in my life?

REST

I think I do a pretty good job of resting, especially after a busy season.  Sometimes what I struggle with is just resting…not entertaining myself or letting someone or something entertain me.  Sometimes I struggle with simply resting and resisting the urge to be doing something.

Rest for me looks different at different times.  Sometimes I rest alone, catching up on TV shows, reading a good book or magazine, praying and journaling, enjoying a latte from Starbucks, pinning to Pinterest, listening to music or a podcast.  Sometimes I rest with others, spending time with my family, having coffee or lunch with a friend, or shopping.  Sometimes I simply rest by sleeping.

Here are a few resources that speak to the need for rest:

Hidden in Plain Sight by Steve Adams

The Gift of Sabbath by Danielle Bell

GROWTH

In my opinion, we should never stop wanting to grow and expand our knowledge.  It doesn’t matter how old you are – keep growing and learning!

I consider myself a student of kidmin, leadership, and ministry.  I want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in my field.  I want to lead well.  How do I do that?

  • I read books, magazines, blogs, articles…anything having to do with kidmin and leadership.
  • I connect with other leaders.  I love spending time with people who do what I do.  We have so much to learn from each other.
  • I attend workshops and conferences.  Again, I love connecting with like-minded people but I also need to learn new skills and techniques.
  • I take risks.  Yes, this is scary, but very necessary for growth.  God wants to enlarge your borders!

Here are a few resources that speak to the need for growth:

Great Leaders Grow by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller

Evaluating Yourself for Growth as a Leader by Orange Leaders

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Children’s Ministry Leader in 2015 by Dale Hudson

HEALTH

An article in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Kidzmatter Magazine says, “‘Busy’ is the new ‘Fine’.”  I’m sure you’ve experience that when you ask someone how they’re doing.  The truth is that many of us are not fine.  Life is hard.  Many of us are depleted spiritually.  Many of us are not taking care of our bodies by getting enough rest, eating healthy, exercising and having regular doctor’s appointments.  Many of us deal with anxiety and depression.  Many of us are desperately trying to make ends meet each month.  Many of us are at the end of our ministry rope and are ready to throw in the towel.

Here are a few resources that speak to the need for health:

How Bill Hybels Stays Replenished by Carolyn Burge

Leading On Empty by Wayne Cordeiro

I’d encourage you to download this modified self-evaluation and spend some time honestly evaluating your life.

Comments

comments

Comments

comments

About the Author

Kathie Phillips is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Married to Lance and mom to Daniel and Kennedy, Kathie shares practical tips and inspiration for kidmin leaders, volunteers and families each week on her blog, KidMinspiration.com.