Leading renewal is hard. It demands leading change when change is resisted. It means working hard for those who will under-appreciate the investment. Renewal leaders have to fight for unpopular causes, speak unpopular truth and invest in unpopular plans. I appreciate what Jim Herrington points out in his book LEADING CHANGE. He says that salvation is free, discipleship costs, leadership costs more.
Having served as a renewal leader over the course of three decades, I can attest to how hard renewal leadership can be. Still, on the whole, I remained a contented warrior because of the following investments.
Here are some investments that help renewal leaders keep on keeping on:
Investment 1: Keep Family First
Remember ministries come and go. There will be good days and bad days but the days will, eventually, come to an end. Families, however, last. Put them first and there will be stability in the midst of chaos.
Investment 2: Find a Friend
Scheduling a weekly connection with a good friend(s) also involved in renewal ministry is a gift beyond words. Sharing together, laughing together, complaining together, dreaming together refreshes the soul.
Investment 3: Read a Book
Reading books by renewal leaders, theologians and practitioners keeps the mind churning with fresh possibilities and insights. Similarly, taking a course from time to time brings fresh oxygen to the work.
Investment 4: Invest in a Hobby
Healthy renewal pastors find time for a hobby or sport. Running, biking, sailing, skiing, woodworking, painting, antiquing, playing soccer (etc.) provide a wonderful reprieve when done regularly.
Investment 5: Create an Adventure
Most healthy renewal pastors that I know have a sense of adventure. They love to explore new places and discover new things. Adventures generate the natural flow of adrenalin that reenergizes life.
Investment 6: Get Dirty
Renewal leadership is more fun when you get involved in ministry. Participate in the food pantry, tutor at a local school, go on a mission trip, etc.. You can’t do everything, of course, but do something.
Investment 7: Keep the SAP Flowing
By “SAP” I mean “Scripture and Prayer.” It’s amazing how often a renewal pastor is reinvigorated by an encouraging word from God’s Word or by the Spirit’s reassuring voice heard in a time of prayer.
Investment 8: Be Yourself
Like David, refuse to fight in Saul’s armor (I Sam. 17:39). Be yourself and let the gifts God has given you be sufficient for the work you are called to do. Remember, when God calls, he also equips.